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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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Senator Osten's Bill on Submarine Infrastructure, Workforce Passes Finance Committee

HARTFORD -- By an overwhelming and bipartisan margin, the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee today voted 44-7 to approve State Senator Cathy Osten's (D-Sprague) bill to expand workforce pipeline programs in Connecticut and to provide up to $100 million in state bonding for capital improvements at Electric Boat in Groton as the company prepares to hire thousands of state workers while it ramps-up submarine production.

The Finance Committee approved Senate Bill 535, "AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE APPRENTICESHIP CONNECTICUT INITIATIVE," a bill Sen. Osten said in January that she would introduce after touring Electric Boat with EB President Jeffrey Geiger and learning of the company’s looming workforce and infrastructure needs.

The bill establishes the Apprenticeship Connecticut initiative to develop workforce pipeline programs and provide state bonding for those programs, and it seeks $100 million in state economic development and manufacturing bonds for capital improvements to Electric Boat for the acquisition of land, buildings, machinery, and equipment; for site and infrastructure improvements; and for planning costs.

"I firmly believe that we need to grow our way out of the economic and employment challenges facing Connecticut. This bill does that," Sen. Osten said today. "There are 30,000 jobs across Connecticut waiting to be filled in our major defense industries and their subcontractors. There are another several thousand jobs in other manufacturing sectors. They all need trained workers. This bill today and other legislation passed this session are going to provide the living wages that families need to stay and thrive here in Connecticut."

SB 535 now heads to the floor of the Senate for consideration.

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