CT: Funding OK'd for Initiatives to Strengthen State's Manufacturing Sector
18 Oct, 2021
- Increasing Engineering Internships for Connecticut Resident College Students: Engineering is named in more open Connecticut manufacturing job postings than any other category. Connecticut colleges and universities graduate a large number of degreed engineers, but a significant number of these graduates leave the state to begin their professional careers elsewhere. This initiative will provide grants or stipends to cover up to half the wages for summer engineering interns, who must be Connecticut residents. Increasing the number of interns employed at Connecticut manufacturers increases the likelihood that students take full-time positions in the state upon graduation.
- Matching Grants for Digital Readiness and Cybersecurity Assessments: Connecticut manufacturers have may choices and factors to weigh when adopting new technologies. The Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI) helps companies assess their readiness for incorporation of Industry 4.0 technology, assess their current capabilities for digital transformation, benchmark their current status in key areas against other like manufacturers, prioritize areas for focus/investment, and provide a roadmap to incorporation. This matching grant program will underwrite up to 50% of the cost of such an assessment to lower the cost for manufacturers to access such an analysis. In addition, this program will be used for cybersecurity assessments and roadmaps.
- Retain an Organization to Facilitate Matches Between Connecticut Innovators and Connecticut Manufacturers: Recently there has been an increase in requests from Connecticut innovators to be matched with Connecticut companies to manufacture their product and help bring the product to market. Currently there is no structured way to match these groups. The state is in discussions with a third-party vendor to create a two-year program to address this unmet need.
- Advertising Campaign Highlighting Career Opportunities in Manufacturing: Access to a skilled workforce is the top issue for Connecticut manufacturers. Between state funding and federal funding, significant investments have been made in building out advanced manufacturing training centers across the state over the last decade. A sustained advertising campaign will drive up awareness, interest and enrollment and contribute to a stronger workforce talent pipeline in the future.
- Comprehensive Manufacturing Website: Currently there isn’t one website where manufacturers can find answers to the myriad of issues and challenges they face. To address this need, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development will work with the Department of Administrative Services to develop and maintain a comprehensive website organized around specific issues facing manufacturers such as workforce needs, access to capital, marketing, environmental issues, and technical support.
- Regional Career Fairs: Career fairs have proven very successful in educating students about the many benefits of a career in the manufacturing sector. The Manufacturing Innovation Fund has agreed to make funds will be available to multi-employer manufacturing organizations to support regional career fairs in the coming years.