WNPR

Senator Murphy Presses Labor Secretary Nominee On Job Training

Mar 27, 2017

During confirmation hearings for Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy urged the nominee to commit to workforce training programs that could be cut in Trump's budget proposal. 

The president's "America First" budget cuts 21 percent from the U.S. Department of Labor's bottom line.

Murphy cited the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline, which has so far trained and placed 200 workers in good paying manufacturing jobs, including at Electric Boat.

"We can build additional submarines at Electric Boat, but if we don't have the workforce pipeline necessary to staff the supply chain, those jobs will go overseas," Murphy told Acosta. "At the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline, it's not about mismatched resources, it's simply about not having enough resources."

Murphy said that to date, more than 3,000 people have applied for the job training program, which is funded by a $5 million grant. Acosta promised Murphy that if confirmed, he will advocate for any program that proves to have a significant rate of return for the taxpayer.

"You will find an abundance of programs that are underfunded that will allow you to make that case," Murphy assured Acosta. According to Murphy, the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline has a 92 percent placement rate.

It supports programs at Ella Grasso Technical High School, Three Rivers Community College, and the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut.

Harriet Jones contributed to this report.