Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been an honor to serve as your state representative for the last two years. I have done my best to let everyone know about the different challenges facing the New London and Groton areas.
With Connecticut facing many issues it took cooperation from both sides of the aisle to move forward. I was proud to work with the full Southeastern delegation and others across the state to make sure we could not only protect those that are most vulnerable but also strengthen the state’s fiscal outlook.
I will continue to work hard and make sure everyone in Hartford is sensitive to our concerns in Groton and New London.
Please reach out if I can be of any assistance.
Joe de la Cruz
Electric Boat, the world’s premier submarine builder, is growing its workforce in southeastern Connecticut. Contracts with the Pentagon are expected to keep EB busy for the next 20 to 30 years and the company needs qualified workers in a variety of fields. Recently, the Department of Economic and Community Development announced $85 million in loans, grants and financial incentives to assist EB with infrastructure and workforce development. By 2034, EB is expected to grow its workforce to more than 13,000 employees.
Manufacturers have complained of not enough qualified candidates to fill available positions. That’s why we are looking at mobile manufacturing training labs that will visit middle schools and high schools to inform students about advanced manufacturing opportunities. It’s in addition to our investment in community colleges and technical schools where students receive the training and skills to land family-supporting jobs.
In addition, we’ve begun a process of creating a single online portal for businesses to get registered, licensed, and permitted by the state. This system should reduce waste, improve communication, and give business owners more time to focus on growing their business.
Fighting the Opioid Epidemic
In the ongoing fight against opioid abuse, the legislature approved a number of initiatives aimed at curbing use and improving our state and local responses and interventions. The new law prohibits prescribers from writing prescriptions for immediate family members and promotes increased use of overdose-reversing treatments like Narcan.
Over 60,000 of our residents sought treatment for substance abuse in 2016 alone. One of our challenges is providing adequate treatment and recovery services. To help address this, we set up a system where sober homes can register with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services so families will be able to check if a sober home is registered with the state. Under this legislation, sober homes must have Narcan onsite and residents must be trained in its use.
Providing Access to Financial Aid
Already signed into law, this legislation allows undocumented students attending state colleges and universities to access financial aid that’s funded with the tuition and fees they pay into. This levels the playing field for all students.
To be eligible, students must meet certain criteria set forth in the legislation, including: age requirements; have lived in the U.S. continuously since their arrival here; not have any felony convictions; be honorably discharged from the military (if a veteran); and be on record with the school they are attending that they’ve filed, or will file, an application to legalize their status.