The Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) is a non-profit agency mandated through the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The EWIB oversees many workforce-related programs and agencies funded from a variety of sources including the operations of four regional American Job Center-East One-Stop Career Centers located in Danielson, New London, Norwich, and Willimantic.
The organization is governed by a 35-member Board of Directors, which evaluates the regional workforce investment system. The private sector majority Board is comprised of representatives from regional businesses; state agencies; regional legislators; organized labor; and local educational institutes. EWIB works to identify the changing needs and resources of each of the 41 municipalities located in its service delivery area and develop a strategic consensus among community leaders to ensure that training programs continue to meet the needs of local employers and job seekers.
EWIB has recently intensified its efforts to collaborate with its economic development, education, government, and industry partners to produce a coordinated regional response to workforce and economic challenges. EWIB has worked closely with economic development planning bodies in both Northeastern and Southeastern Connecticut on their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), which share several common themes with the EWIB Workforce Development Plan. Common priorities include addressing the region’s shift towards low-wage jobs; supporting the growth of high-wage industry sectors; preparing the workforce for “knowledge economy” jobs of the future, and building on regional core competencies. These and other themes have been integrated into recent federal grant applications and the agenda of the Governor’s Commission for the Economic Diversification of Southeastern Connecticut.
EWIB also works with its partners to address issues that, while not directly related to workforce development, are equally important to the region’s overall health. To address the need for affordable housing, EWIB has served in a lead role on the New London County Supportive Housing Pilot, the Southeastern Connecticut Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, and the Workforce and Housing Subcommittee of the Governor’s Diversification Commission. EWIB also participates in a regional transportation initiative convened by the Southeastern Council of Governments and the State Department of Transportation, and staffs the Eastern Connecticut Transportation to Work Collaborative.
EWIB recognizes that the future of Eastern Connecticut’s workforce relies on coordinated planning among all of our region’s decision-makers, and we strive to strengthen our partnerships to increase the prosperity of our region’s current and future workers.