On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Goodwin University received notification of the award of a U.S. Department of Labor “Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gap” grant in the amount of $2,000,000. Through this grant program, 28 public-private apprenticeship partnerships throughout the country are receiving nearly $100 million to support large-scale expansions of apprenticeship in industries including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology. Goodwin, in partnership with Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) will develop a coursework/training catalogue; build and enhance partnerships with Connecticut employers; recruit and train incumbent workers; and mentor, guide, and support participants for successful employment and advancement outcomes.
“For Americans who want an alternative to the traditional bachelor’s degree, apprenticeships are a way to learn valuable skills that lead to good paying careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “Companies across the country tell me that their greatest challenge today is finding the skilled workers they need. This funding will bolster America’s competitiveness by adding more skilled workers to fill millions of open jobs today and in the future.”
The grant will support the training of 400 workers per year, for a total of 1,600 individuals trained over the four years of the grant. Goodwin and its partners will work with 125 employers in new or expanded apprenticeship programs, including small- and medium-sized businesses. Successful course completion will result in the issuance of an industry-recognized credential designed to lead to an increase in wages and/or a promotion.
Industry partners were central to developing the plan outlined in the grant proposal. Thirty-five manufacturers and the Aerospace Components Manufacturing, on behalf of its 118-manufacturing-member network, identified the types of trainings that will benefit and help advance their workforce. Eleven companies, including ACMT, Inc.; Alpha Q, Inc.; Budney Industries, Inc.; GKN Aerospace; PCX Aerostructures; PDQ, Inc.; Pennsylvania Globe Gaslight Co.; Phoenix Manufacturing Inc.; Rapid Global Business Solutions (RGBSI); Spartan Aerospace, LLC; and Wepco Plastics, Inc. submitted letters of support as part of the grant application, committing to support a portion of the training fees as well as paying their workers for the release time necessary to take part in the coursework.
“This is an incredible opportunity for all three organizations to demonstrate their commitment to strengthening Connecticut’s workforce,” said Dr. Cliff Thermer, Goodwin University’s Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Business Development and Dean of the School of Business, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing. “Our mission is to align education, commerce, and community, and this grant empowers us to put serious resources behind our actions.”
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.