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Governor Lamont Announces Launch of Higher Education Program to Increase Opportunities for Aspiring Nurses and Social Workers

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Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Announces Launch of Higher Education Program to Increase Opportunities for Aspiring Nurses and Social Workers

(New Haven, Conn.) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced the launch of CT Health Horizons, a three-year higher education program designed to address the shortage of nursing and behavioral health care providers statewide. announced its launch.

A joint partnership between Connecticut State University (CSCU), the Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS), several state agencies, the University of Connecticut (UConn), the Conference of Independent Universities of Connecticut (CCIC), and the Connecticut Hospital Association, this program will: Through three strategic pillars, we seek to address the state’s labor shortages in these critical areas.

  • Tuition assistance to encourage low-income and minority students to participate in cost-effective nursing and social work programs.
  • Recruit and retain faculty to rapidly expand capacity and train the next generation of nursing and behavioral health professionals.
  • An innovative program to foster partnerships between employers and institutions of higher learning and to build career paths.

The $35 million initiative was approved as part of the state budget bill Governor Lamont recently signed into law and is funded by the federal American Relief Plan Act.

OWS and CSCU will serve as strategic oversight to tie the initiative’s efforts to Governor Lamont’s overall workforce development strategy. CSCU will act as the program’s general manager and recipient of funding, and will work with UConn and CCIC to implement the program.

“There is a significant shortage of nurses in Connecticut, and the university currently does not have the capacity to increase the number of qualified nursing students.” Governor Lamont said:“By making this investment, we are taking an important step towards expanding the number of nursing seats in public and private higher education institutions. This collaborative approach will help foster a highly educated behavioral health workforce.”

“This important investment in training nurses and behavioral health providers was on the mind of Congress when it passed the American Relief Plan Act to help rebuild the nation from the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s exactly the same as the program I had on Members of the Connecticut legislative delegation said in a joint statement:“With the need for mental health services skyrocketing during the pandemic and already alarming nurse shortages at all-time highs, our healthcare system remains understaffed at a critical time,” Connecticut said. We applaud you for using these federal dollars to make important investments in the health of our workforce and communities.”

“Healthcare, from nursing to behavioral health, is at the core of CSCU.” President Zheng said:“We offer nursing and social work programs of the highest quality, but we need to increase the number of students we serve. This program helps us do just that. We are proud to work with our partners to advance Governor Lamont’s workforce goals.”

“This program is a total win for Connecticut.” Connecticut’s Chief Workforce Officer, Dr. Kelli-Marie Vallieres, said:“We are making targeted investments to improve access and quality of healthcare in our communities, as well as creating opportunities for disadvantaged people to pursue rewarding family-sustaining careers. Our vision is to recruit, educate and employ the next generation of healthcare workers in our state.”

The initiative will provide tuition support to 1,200 students enrolled in nursing and social work programs, with a focus on Associate Degree (ADN), Accelerated Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) and Master of Social Work (MSW) programs. is estimated to provide In addition, we plan to expand our educational seating capacity to serve more than 1,000 new students.

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