According to a recent speech by Assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily DeRocco, “Strong regional economies that are built on maximizing talent and innovation will be crucial to the nation’s success in the global economy.”
The U.S. Department of Labor is taking action on that philosophy by awarding a Connecticut unemployment grant under the WIRED program. The WIRED initiative has already been successful. The first set of WIRED grants in 2005 awarded $195 million to 13 regions. The grants are awarded based on a competition involving the state governors. In total, this second round of WIRED grants will top $45 million.
Part of the WIRED effort includes a recent Connecticut unemployment grant of up to $5 million to train workers in the Southwest Connecticut area. According to U. S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, “Investing in area workforces through this collaborative approach will boost entire regions’ economic vitality.”
The grant includes an initial award of $500,000. After a regional implementation plan is completed, the region will then have access to an additional $4.5 million grant. Secretary of Labor Chao adds, “This regional economic development strategy transcends political boundaries to better leverage a region’s assets to help workers succeed in the 21st century worldwide economy.”
The Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development program, often referred to by the acronym WIRED, is an effort by the U.S. Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration to help struggling regional economies in several areas. The Connecticut unemployment grant is aimed at training workers in the depressed Southwest Connecticut region.
The U. S. Department of Labor recently announced that thousands of Connecticut workers would be among those to benefit from a grant of up to $65 million. Under this program, the region will use the grant to improve Connecticut unemployment and the area economy by training employees. WIRED works to integrate economic and workforce development activities and demonstrate that training and development can create economic growth in regional economies across the United States.
A recent shipyard closing that was a boon for some Maine workers has left many Connecticut workers high and dry. But, U.S. Labor Secretary is using her discretionary funds to ease the transition for more than 300 workers.
Connecticut workers will get a break from the Secretary of State in the near future. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao recently announced a $2,361,227 grant, to provide assistance to 336 additional workers affected by a second round of layoffs at General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Company (EBC) as a result of Base Realignment and Closure 2005 (BRAC) decisions. Of the total amount, $1,001,196 will be available immediately.
The Connecticut unemployment grant, of just under $7028 per worker, will be used for assessment testing, career counseling and training for new industries. On June 30, 2005, Connecticut was awarded a $1 million preparation grant to prepare for the effects of the BRAC decisions to close, consolidate and realign several federal military installations. EBC was directly affected by the BRAC decision to transfer repair work from the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton, Conn. to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. The move, which was good for some workers in Maine, left many Connecticut workers unemployed.
“Connecticut workers affected by dislocations related to base realignment need to prepare for new careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “This $2.3 million grant will provide these Connecticut workers with skills training in high-growth industries and other reemployment services to help them transition to new careers.”
Additional services available to workers include skills assessments, job search and relocation assistance and access to peer counselors. Through the grant, the state will provide affected workers with occupational skills training in high demand industries, individual counseling, case management and job training. National Emergency Grants are part of the Secretary of Labor’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines.
In Connecticut, my new business owners, the unemployment insurance system isn’t much different than what we saw in Colorado, except that you live in Connecticut on the East Coast (not in the snowy Rockies) and that you are dealing the Connecticut Department of Labor and not the Colorado Department of Labor.
Kidding aside, registering your new business is not a joke. It’s a necessary step toward making yourself a law-abiding and legitimate employer before the eyes of the law and the community of business in your area. Like in Colorado, one of the first things to join the community of employers in Connecticut that you will want to do is buy yourself some unemployment insurance posters. These are mandatory in this state as well, for their value in explaining to your employees what unemployment insurance can do for them if they get laid off or let go because of no error on their part.
Now on to how you can actually get them this unemployment insurance. In Connecticut, new employers can start by registering their company with the state through the Internet. This is the preferred mode of registration in the state of Connecticut, so tech savvy employers should make this their No. 1 choice when it comes to getting in gear with the unemployment insurance system.
You can also register with the state the old fashioned way, for you paper savvy employers out there. This can be done by contacting the Connecticut Employer Status Unit at 860-263-6550, to receive the appropriate forms from the state. Or if you are halfway to being tech savvy, you can actually download the forms from the state Web site and then print them and fill them out to send in by mail.
These forms will then go along with the other forms that you need to fill out for the unemployment insurance system, such as the Quarterly Unemployment Compensation Tax forms, Correction Returns forms, and Separation packets.
It would be nice as an employer—right?—to have labor law posters delivered to your door whenever you need them. Not only would that save you the effort and allow you to focus all of your attentions on your employees and your business instead of on posters, but it would also save you the trouble of worrying about updates to the poster laws in your state.
Believe it or not, such is the case with the Connecticut Labor Law Poster Service. The Connecticut Labor Law Poster Service allows you to make sure that you are up to date in your posters because, yes, employers, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have the most updated posters in your work site.
The Connecticut Labor Law Poster Service can deliver to you the Connecticut posters that keep you up to speed with the latest laws in the state. For instance, at the moment, the Connecticut Labor Law Poster Service could make sure that you have all six federal postings in your work site that are mandatory, as well as the six state postings that are mandatory too.
Do you know what those state postings are? That’s what I thought. That’s where the Connecticut Labor Law Poster Service comes into play, so you don’t have to know that the six state postings in the Connecticut labor law poster are the unemployment posting, the electronic monitoring posting, the discrimination posting, the minimum wage posting, the sexual harassment posting, and the workers’ comp posting.
The Connecticut Labor Law Poster Service can also get you the six federal postings in the Connecticut labor law posters. I won’t even quiz you here. The six federal postings—all of which can be provided by the Connecticut Labor Law Poster Service—are the OSHA posting, the USERAA posting, the FMLA posting, the Polygraph Protection posting, the minimum wage posting, and the Equal Employment Opportunity posting.
The state of Connecticut has mandated that all employers must post the Connecticut ( CT ) Employment Labor Posters in a location within the business that is easily seen by workers in the building. These labor posters show all of the state and Federal labor laws and explain how employers and employees must comply with those laws. They also give contact information for asking questions or reporting violations of the laws.
The Connecticut ( CT ) Employment Labor Posters that must be posted at the workplace are: Workers’ Compensation Act, Sexual Harassment, Minimum Wage, Discrimination Notice, Electronic Monitoring, and Unemployment Poster. In addition to these state labor laws, there are Federal Labor Law Posters that must be displayed. These include: USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection.
Connecticut’s labor laws change often, and employers throughout the state have the responsibility of keeping their Employment Labor posters up to date. It’s very important to replace them often, as the laws are continually changing. If the posters are missing or are not current, the employer is in violation of the law.
I know one law that will be changing very shortly in Connecticut is the minimum wage law. As of January 1, 2007, Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase from $7.40 per hour to $7.65 per hour. So, if you are an employer, please be sure that your minimum wage poster is both accurate and updated. You can check back with our website for detailed information of employment law changes and updates to the posters. I wanted to make sure you knew of this one very important change to the Connecticut ( CT ) Employment Labor Posters.