As appeared in the CT Post on February 16th, 2023, written by Joe Carbone
For decades, the American workforce system has addressed challenges that served as barriers to career attainment. Child care and transportation are two of the challenges, and both have long been considered to have a national impact. Billions of federal dollars have been allocated to address them. But another challenge is lurking and unlike the two I mentioned, this one is in Connecticut’s backyard; it’s not new, no one doubts that it’s there and no one doubts its destructive capacity. It’s the elephant in the room, and it’s why there is now an unmistakable link between affordable housing and Connecticut’s ability to build a competitive labor force.
Access to housing is a basic staple to living; it’s about families, vibrant neighborhoods and thriving businesses. Recent labor reports in Connecticut document a growing economy with job creation increasing while unemployment is at record lows. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Connecticut has approximately 100,000 open jobs and a labor force that is 53,000 people smaller than before the pandemic. The supply and demand disparity of skilled workers is worsening every day — just ask any employer.