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Governor Lamont Announces Statewide Launch of Free Online Job Training Program for Unemployment Claimants

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced the statewide expansion of a program that will make free online learning licenses available to recipients of unemployment insurance, including those who have been impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 public health crisis. The SkillUp CT program will significantly expand access to comprehensive online course work from a leading global provider for thousands of Connecticut residents. Originally launched in eastern Connecticut, a sustained rollout of the program across the state over the coming weeks will enable recently laid-off workers to upgrade their skills and earn industry-recognized certifications even while the doors to most brick-and mortar education and training providers remain closed.

The program is coordinated by the Connecticut Workforce Development Council in collaboration with the Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council and the Connecticut Department of Labor. Based on a successful model implemented by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, it is being offered through Connecticut’s five regional workforce development boards.

Eligible Connecticut residents will receive email instructions on obtaining a Metrix Learning license that provides them access to about 5,000 online Skillsoft courses in areas such as information technology, business analysis, customer service, project management, and digital literacy, among others. Anyone with an internet connection and a computer can access courses. SkillUp CT also offers training tracks leading to over 100 industry certifications and will provide career coaching through the workforce boards.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an incredibly difficult situation for so many people, and this innovative and responsive initiative gives hard-working Connecticut residents a beneficial training opportunity that they can utilize from their own homes,” Governor Lamont said.

“Governor Lamont created the Governor’s Workforce Council to give Connecticut residents access to workforce development services that prepare them for 21st century jobs,” Garrett Moran, chair of the Governor’s Workforce Council and the governor’s principal advisor on workforce development, said. “This innovative program enables us to make good on this promise despite the distancing requirements that have shut down classroom training and confined people to their homes. The SkillUp CT program will give Connecticut residents who have been forced to file for unemployment at-home access to the same high-quality training courses used by many Fortune 500 companies.”

The program will be funded by the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) under an existing grant to the state’s five regional workforce boards.

“CHEFA is proud to have partnered with Connecticut’s workforce development boards to continue to build a trained, skilled workforce,” CHEFA Executive Director Jeanette W. Weldon said. “We’re pleased that during these extraordinary times, CHEFA funding helped the workforce boards expand online training offerings to jobseekers while most classroom training options are unavailable.”

To enroll in SkillUp CT, unemployment insurance claimants in Connecticut should visit ct.metrixlearning.com/landing.cfm.

About the Connecticut Workforce Development Council (CWDC)
The CWDC is comprised of the directors of Connecticut’s five regional workforce development boards (WDB) and exists to facilitate communication and collaboration among the WDBs. The WDBs are responsible for planning and facilitating all state and federal workforce development efforts in Connecticut’s five workforce regions. In partnership with the Connecticut Department of Labor and other partners, the WDBs operate a statewide network of 18 American Job Centers that provide workforce assistance to jobseekers and businesses through a seamless service delivery system.

About the Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council (GWC)
The GWC was established in October 2019 by Governor Lamont and tasked with improving Connecticut’s education and training ecosystem and pipeline so that all residents are able to access high-quality and affordable training and education that are aligned to the needs of businesses. The GWC will submit a report to the governor and legislature by January 1, 2021 that makes strategic recommendations to improve the state’s workforce system.

About the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA)
CHEFA is a quasi-governmental agency created to help Connecticut-based nonprofit organizations raise the funds needed to meet their goals of improving the health and education of Connecticut citizens. CHEFA accomplishes this by providing tax-exempt financing and other financial assistance to educational institutions, healthcare providers, childcare providers, and other eligible nonprofit entities. Since its inception in 2002, CHEFA grant programs have provided more than $33 million to Connecticut nonprofit organizations. CHEFA grant programs utilize no State of Connecticut funds. For more information visit www.chefa.com.