Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) interim President Dr. Jane Gates today announced that a consortium of five Connecticut community colleges, led by Norwalk Community College, has received a $3.4 million Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant (SSTG) from the United State Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The grant, awarded to Norwalk, Gateway, Housatonic, Middlesex, and Tunxis Community Colleges, funds a project known as Connecticut Statewide Healthcare Industry Pathways (CT SHIP). The project aims to expand the colleges’ capacity to deliver accelerated training in high-demand health care career pathways.
“COVID-19 has created significant workforce needs in the health care industry,” Dr. Gates said. “Connecticut’s community colleges provide high quality, accelerated training programs that help place individuals in high-demand fields. The CT SHIP project will expand the colleges’ virtual instructional delivery capabilities and build on partnerships within the health care sector. This is an exciting step forward, and I encourage those considering a health care career to look into Connecticut’s community colleges.”
During the project period, which runs from February 1, 2021 through January 30, 2025, CT SHIP is expected to train approximately 2,200 students. In particular, the project seeks to address disparities in postsecondary credential attainment based on race/ethnicity and family income that prevent Connecticut from achieving its overarching goals of economic vitality and expanded employment opportunities. This project will focus on workers displaced by COVID-19, many of whom lost jobs that will never return, and provide them with skills for good-paying jobs that serve an on-ramps to a future in health care.
“These funds support critical efforts to address race and income disparities in secondary education and expand employment opportunities for workers displaced by the pandemic,” said United States Senator Richard Blumenthal. “The need for qualified, caring health care professionals has increased dramatically because of the pandemic. This federal grant will make Connecticut’s healthcare system healthier and stronger.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how badly we need to train more health care workers to fill these high-demand jobs,” said United States Senator Chris Murphy. “This Department of Labor grant will go a long way to help CT SHIP train thousands of students in Connecticut in the health care field and begin to close the racial and equity gaps that prevent people of color from attaining the skills necessary for jobs. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight to keep these wins coming to Connecticut.”
“Our state’s community colleges do an excellent job training and teaching the future of our workforce. This grant is a will help them expand their ability to offer accelerated training in health care careers,” said Congressman John B. Larson. “This is critical during this pandemic where demand for health care workers is high. This is an vital step forward for our state.”
“Congratulations to Norwalk Community College (NCC) and Housatonic Community College (HCC) on their Department of Labor grant,” said Congressman Jim Himes. “NCC's and HCC’s training programs offer their students the opportunity to move into the in-demand fields of health care, logistics, and cybersecurity. This grant will place students into careers with high earning potential, helping address the deep disparities in secondary education based on race, ethnicity, and family income. Additionally, the grant increases resources for virtual learning, allowing for high-quality education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs offered by NCC and HCC will be an important asset to Connecticut’s economy and community college students.”
Under the CT SHIP program, the following industry-recognized credentials will be awarded.
- Non-credit certificates: Medical Billing & Coding; Professional Coder; Medical Office Assistant; Certified Nursing Assistant; Patient Care Technician
- Credit certificates: Health Information Management Associate’s degrees: Health Information Management; Surgical Technology
- Digital badges: Amazon Web Services badges; Digital badges to be created
This work will be done in collaboration with the Governor’s Workforce Council and will build upon CSCU’s longstanding partnerships with the Connecticut Department of Labor, Department of Economic and Community Development and the state’s Workforce Development Boards. Finally, CT SHIP will be supported by several major employers, including Yale New Haven Health, Hartford Healthcare, Stamford Health and Norwalk Hospital.
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