May 25, 2021
MIDDLETOWN — Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz visited Vinal Technical High School recently to highlight Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposal for the use of federal COVID-19 recovery funding that Connecticut is receiving from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The American Rescue Plan Act is the sixth federal COVID-19 relief bill passed in the last year and is by far the largest infusion of resources to the state, according to a press release.
The Lamont-Bysiewicz administration developed a number of proposals with the goal of ensuring that the state’s recovery efforts are oriented toward transformative initiatives that enable Connecticut to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger, healthier, and ready to resume the progress that has made the state a leader in many areas and a desirable place to live, it said.
The full proposal makes investments in five key areas: defeating COVID-19, investing in the future, creating a more affordable Connecticut; economic growth that works for all and modernizing state government, the release said.
One specific plan will allocate $3.7 million to extend the operating hours at the state’s technical high schools.
Bysiewicz, Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim, and state Sen. Matt Lesser joined Connecticut Technical Education and Career System Superintendent Jeffrey Wihbey and Principal Javette Giannelli-Allen to highlight the investment May 27, the news release said.
The investment “could allow us to open more Career Academies across the state for young people to get training and earn industry-recognized credentials that will provide them with a better career pathway in life,” Wihbey said.
“This funding will allow Vinal Tech and other CTECS schools to expand career technical education opportunities to more learners of diverse ages, backgrounds, regions and learning needs,” Giannelli-Allen said.
The funding will provide increased opportunities for students to participate in after-school, career training programs by building on the Career Academy program, which assists students with obtaining industry-recognized credentials in one of four in-demand trade areas: manufacturing, facilities carpentry, culinary, and automotive collision and repair, according to the statement.
In addition, money will support expanding apprenticeship training programs across the state that provide related instruction for all license categories in the following areas: electrical, heating/cooling, plumbing, sheet metal and barbering.
“Our technical high schools are already doing an amazing job. We see a 97 percent graduation rate from the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System,” Bysiewicz said in a prepared statement.
“Vinal Tech, like our entire Vo-Tech system, is a real gem,” said Lesser said in the release. “We should prepare our workforce to take full advantage of the federal infrastructure package.”
“Middletown is very proud of the school’s work and to be their host community. Vinal Tech is an outstanding and unique educational institution,” Florsheim said.
Student Workforce is a business run by students and faculty at the CTECS.
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