The State House of Representatives has passed a bill that will improve the ability for students to enter Connecticut’s manufacturing industry.

The bill, H.B. 5333 “An Act Establishing a Pilot Program for the Expansion of Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Programs”, was positively acted upon by the House of Representatives May 30.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the economic climate in Connecticut,” said State Rep. Bill Buckbee (R-67th), who is a member of the legislature’s Commerce Committee.

“The manufacturing industry has great potential to grow within New Milford and our state, so the creation of incentives to participate in manufacturing jobs is a critical component to the overall improvement of the workforce,” he said.

The legislation calls for the Board of Regents of Higher Education to create criteria that will identity workforce needs for those trained in advanced manufacturing.

Additionally, it will identify economically distressed municipalities, residents who lack access to advanced manufacturing certificate programs near their homes, and sufficient space in a public high school to operate an advanced manufacturing certificate program.

“Growing the workforce organically, getting high school kids involved, will hopefully entice them to stay here,” Buckbee said. “Historically, Connecticut excels at fostering unique talents and this legislation is a step in the right direction to providing the best resources to our students.”

There are gaps within the industry’s workforce, which is why manufacturing applicants are needed on an urgent basis.

Consequently, the legislation was received with overwhelming bipartisan support and heads to the State Senate for further action.