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A letter from the Executive Director: A busy summer for SVP

Dear Partners & Friends:

We hope that you are enjoying the summer and have had a great August. So far, this summer is proving to be a busy one for SVP Connecticut.

We wanted to share some great news and updates regarding the Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS), Connecticut, and SVP. Please reach out if you have questions or thoughts on any of the below as we all move forward together:

Good Jobs Challenge: On Aug. 3, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS) will receive the largest grant in the country in the very competitive Good Jobs Challenge, a program of the American Rescue Plan designed to connect workers with training to develop in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. OWS will receive $23.9 million in funding to support high-quality job growth in key sectors along with support to expand our system of Regional Sector Partnerships. OWS is one of 30 awardees, out of 500 applicants, and demonstrates the power of building cross-sector partnerships with employers, educators, nonprofits, and government to build equity-based education and training programs. The word out of Washington is the work being done in Connecticut on this very important initiative has caught people’s attention.

CT Health Horizons Program: At an Aug. 4 press conference, Gov. Ned Lamont, Commissioner Kelli Vallieres of OWS, and President Terrence Cheng of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) announced a $35 million innovative new program to expand higher education and training programs to expand nursing and social work (mental health) career pathways. This program will add more than 1,200 additional nursing education slots in Connecticut. The program was developed over the past few months by SVP Partners Bernie Park and Jim Lisher, our Director of Health Care Workforce Strategy, Ben Stang, and college intern, Rayane Taroua, working for OWS and collaborating with Alice Pritchard, COO of the CSCU.

Career ConneCT: On Aug. 16, US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh will come to Groton to help OWS launch the $70 million Career ConneCT program. It is one of the largest job training programs in the country funded by American Recovery Act dollars and has a very innovative and inclusive program design. It has been utilized by OWS to help to redesign the Workforce System in the state by bringing together employers, educational institutions, Workforce Boards, and nonprofits to create collaborative end-to-end education and training programs that leverage best practices. SVP staff and partners have been deeply involved in building these programs and supporting the whole process.

Here is some exciting news in Early Childhood Education for our communities.

$15 million Infant and Toddler’s Program Funding: SVP Partner Jen Gerber and our Director of Early Childhood Strategy, Monisha Gibson have led an effort for the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) to develop a grant program for early childhood providers that will fund expansion of infant and toddler slots across the state. This is an important part of the tremendous legislative victory of $183 million for early childhood education. A big part of that success has been the development of the Child Care for Connecticut’s Future. SVP Partners Rob Wechsler, Mary Jaensch, Stacey Goodwin, and our Director of Nonprofit Consulting, Skye Cornell have provided significant support for the Coalition.

McKinsey Early Childhood Education Financial Tool Project Launched: We are very excited that our strategic partner, McKinsey & Company will be providing a pro bono team to work with SVP to support the OEC in building out a comprehensive financial model and tool for the economics of the Early Childhood Sector in CT that will help us prioritize future investments in Early Childhood Education. SVP Vice Chair, Jen Gerber will be leading this work for SVP.

Best regards,

Mark Argosh

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