WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) announced today $5,971,240 for Norwalk Community College as part of a $12 million grant to a consortium of schools across Connecticut for the Connecticut Health and Life Sciences Career Initiative (HL-SCI). The funding will help NCC provide certifications, industry-recognized credentials, and Associate degrees to prepare veterans, Trade Adjustment Assistance-impacted, dislocated, and other under-employed workers for careers in health and life sciences occupations.

“Connecticut’s higher educational institutions are an important resource for residents, especially veterans, to develop skills and advance their careers,” said Senator Lieberman. “This funding will be especially valuable because it will create opportunities to work in the growing fields of health and the life sciences.”

“This funding will help schools throughout Connecticut provide critical job training for veterans and others in a 21st century industry that is advancing and saving lives,” said Senator Blumenthal. “As important as skills are the credentials and certifications needed to use them, which this funding will help provide. Especially exciting are the health care training courses for expanding opportunities in areas like engineering and bioscience, as well as physical therapy and surgical technology.”

“Today’s funding will prepare our veterans for the opportunities they risked their lives to protect and give workers who have lost their jobs a chance at a better career,” said Congressman Himes. “These new programs at NCC will help them develop the tools they need to compete in the 21st century economy.”

The initiative will use three program strategies to provide participants with expanded educational and work placement opportunities. First, the schools will increase their use of online and technology-enabled learning through online course modules, workplace skills assessment and development tools. The consortium will design new degree programs leading to defined career paths, including certificates in biomedical equipment, surgical technology, medical coding, and occupational health and safety.

Second, the schools will expand their use of Prior Learning Assessments to enable 675 students to earn 10,000+ college credits for equivalent work, military, and other experience, thus helping veterans and students with work experience complete their degrees more quickly.

Third, the consortium will offer recruitment and placement services to place 360 HL-SCI students in internships and provide 2,000 participants with job placement services.

The grant was awarded through the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program. This program provides community colleges and other higher educational institutions with funds to improve their ability to deliver two-year education and career training programs and prepare participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations.