(Hartford, CT) - U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2) today applauded $6 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor to support the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative. 

The Pipeline Initiative is a collaboration among Electric Boat and Eastern Connecticut manufacturers, the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board, colleges and technical high schools and state agencies to provide targeted STEM training for unemployed and underemployed workers. Electric Boat plans to permanently hire several hundred participants who complete the program, with additional Eastern Connecticut manufacturers expecting to hire additional program graduates. 

Murphy said: “When we sat down with Secretary Perez this past May in Groton, we urged him to make a significant investment in eastern Connecticut’s manufacturing pipeline. Today, I’m proud to help announce that the U.S. Department of Labor has made that commitment. The Workforce Innovation Fund grant will put more than 400 under- and unemployed workers back to work. America became the most powerful, most innovative economy in the world through unique public-private partnerships just like this. I’m proud to have worked so closely with the Labor Department, Electric Boat, and my congressional colleagues to make today’s announcement a reality – it’s a grand slam for workers and manufacturers across eastern Connecticut.”

Blumenthal said: “This major federal investment—one of only six such grants awarded nationwide—will create pathways to permanent, skilled jobs for hundreds of unemployed and underemployed Eastern Connecticut workers. This powerful partnership between manufacturers, educators and state agencies will ensure that employers have access to trained, highly-skilled workers ready to succeed in 21st century STEM careers. With this funding, I am confident that the pipeline initiative will become a model for job training nationwide.” 

Courtney said: "The Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline has a proven track record of innovative and successful strategies to prepare workers with the skills they need to succeed in our local economy—including advanced manufacturing training that is in high demand in the defense sector. This funding will help accelerate programs that are already working to connect employers with trained workers they need. I am pleased to see this important collaborative effort receive federal support and recognition after Secretary Perez witnessed the success of the program firsthand in May."

Pipeline Initiative members include the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board, CT Department of Rehabilitation Services; CT Board of Regents for Higher Education, Quinebaug Valley Community College, CT Department of Economic and Community Development, Three Rivers Community College, CT Technical High Schools, the Governor’s office, Eastern Connecticut State University and the Employment and Training Institute.