Weekly Update - Oct. 15

October 15, 2021

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Dear Neighbor, 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a great opportunity to remind us all the importance of taking steps to protect our health as early detection saves lives. Take a moment on this National Mammography Day to talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer and to schedule your annual mammogram.  

Learn more about the importance of early detection and breast cancer screening by clicking here

In this email you'll find updates on district resources and news. Please click the links below to read the section that corresponds with the highlighted headline.

A NOTE: If you're having trouble clicking through the following links, open this email in a browser, use a computer or scroll through this email to the relevant section. 

The topics covered are as follows:

On Legislative Business

On Community Resources 

President Biden Visits CT to Promote "Build Back Better" Agenda
President Biden stopped by the state today to promote his Build Back Better agenda. The President's visit began with a stop at Capitol Child Development Center in Hartford to highlight the impact of roughly $300 million of federal money for childcare programs that was provided through the American Rescue Plan and the importance of future investments in affordable and accessible childcare for working families. As part of his agenda, Biden hopes to make childcare free for lower-income families, and ensure families making up to 150 percent of their state's median income pay less than 7 percent of their salaries.

Biden then headed to the UConn Storrs Campus to attend the dedication of the newly renamed "Dodd Center for Human Rights." Formerly the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, under the new name the building will now serve as the umbrella home for UConn's human rights programs. The President's visit to Storrs marks only the fourth time a president has come to campus (joining Presidents Clinton, H.W. Bush, and Ford).
This is President Biden's second visit to the state as the sitting U.S. President. Earlier this year, the President visited the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to deliver the commencement address.
I would you like to know, what do you think of this issue?

Hartford Courant: President’s 2nd visit is a sign of Connecticut’s significance in the Biden administration
Fox 61: President Biden pushes child care provisions in visit to Hartford, UConn
CT Insider: President Biden arrives in Connecticut
WalletHub Ranks CT Safest State During the Pandemic
Connecticut earned the 'number one' spot on WalletHub's recent report of the safest states in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. WalletHub compared all 50 states and Washington D.C. along five key metrics: vaccination rates, positive testing rates, hospitalization rates, death rates, and transmission rates, as well as the share of the eligible population getting vaccinated. Of those metrics, CT ranked:
  • Third for lowest positive testing rates
  • Third for lowest death rates
  • Fourth for highest vaccination rates
  • Fourth for lowest hospital rates
  • Thirteenth in transmission rate

The state earned a total score of 92.44 – followed by Massachusetts (89.56), California (89.50), Rhode Island (89.09), and D.C. (86.64) to round out the top five safest states.

I have been incredibly proud of our collective response to the pandemic. Connecticut residents stepped up, and have continued to step up, to maintain common sense health and safety practices that are saving lives.
I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?

WalletHub: Safest States During COVID-19
WTNH: Report shows CT the safest state during the pandemic: Here’s why
WFSB: Connecticut now the safest state during COVID-19, study says
Strengthening CT's Manufacturing Sector
On Thursday, Governor Ned Lamont announced that the state Manufacturing Innovation Fund Advisory Board voted to approve the release of $8.3 million in funding to support a series of technology and workforce initiatives. With increasingly in-demand jobs and the growing need to replace retirees, the state's manufacturing companies have struggled to find skilled employees. To overcome these challenges, the funding will be used to support a series of initiatives and programs to support the state's long-term competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.
Among the initiatives is an effort to retain resident college students by increasing engineering internships to increase the likelihood of students accepting CT-based full-time positions upon graduation. Other initiatives include matching grants for digital readiness and cybersecurity awareness, creating a structure to match CT innovators with CT manufacturers, launching an ad campaign to highlight career opportunities, building a comprehensive manufacturing website, and supporting regional career fairs.
I would you like to know, what do you think of this issue?
Press Release: Governor Lamont Announces Funding for New Initiatives Strengthening Connecticut’s Manufacturing Sector
Hartford Courant: Connecticut to boost funding for the state’s manufacturing workforce
WTNH: Small businesses and manufacturers getting a boost from the state
Today in CT History: Connecticut Governor Resigns to Go to Russia
Today in 1853, Thomas H. Seymour, one of Connecticut’s most accomplished — and controversial — 19th century politicians, stepped down as Governor. He resigned to accept a nomination by the New Hampshire born and quite unlikely President Franklin Pierce to serve as the United States’ ambassadorial minister to Russia. It was the latest in a long list of prestigious accomplishments for Seymour, whose popularity was at its peak.
Born in 1807, Seymour’s political career began at the age of 30 when, as a newly elected Hartford probate court judge and captain of the Hartford Light Guard, he became editor of The Jeffersonian, a Democratic newspaper. In 1843, he served a single two-year term as a U.S. Congressman before declining his party’s nomination for reelection to focus on military interests. During the Mexican American War, Seymour was a major in the 9th U.S. Infantry regiment and earned distinction at the 1847 Battle of Chapultepec. When the war ended, he was welcomed home as “the hero of Chapultepec,” and the politically savvy Seymour rode his popularity straight into the Governor’s office, winning the first of four consecutive terms as Connecticut’s chief executive, beginning in 1850.
Returning to Connecticut from Russia in 1858, Seymour found the American political landscape had shifted and become more volatile, as tensions between northern and southern states neared the breaking point of Civil War. Following the start of hostilities in 1861, Seymour became an outspoken advocate for a peaceful reconciliation with the Southern states and a fierce critic of President Abraham Lincoln’s military strategies. While Civil War Connecticut was home to plenty of Southern sympathizers, there weren’t enough to vote Seymour back into political office during two failed gubernatorial campaigns in 1860 and 1863. After he tried in vain to obtain the national Democratic nomination for President in 1864, Seymour retired from politics and lived his final years in Hartford, where he died in 1868.
Learn more about Thomas H. Seymour and other interesting CT history facts by clicking here.
Stay Alert - Fines for Distracted Driving Increased
Did you know that distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of accidents on our roads? In Connecticut, nearly 5,000 crashes were attributed to distracted driving in 2020 alone. To make for safer roadways – as of October 1, penalties for texting and driving increased to stop distracted driving.
Connecticut law prohibits the use of any hand-held mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers who are 16 or 17 years of age are prohibited from using a cell phone or mobile device at any time, even with a hands-free accessory.
The new fines for driving while distracted are:
  • For the first violation, offenders are fined $200 (was previously $150)
  • For a second violation, offenders are fined $375 (was previously $300)
  • For a third or subsequent violation, offenders are fined $625 (was previously $500)

Throughout the month of October, state and local police will be increasing enforcement of the new distracted driving law. Please urge your family and friends to put their cell phones away while driving. No text message or phone call is worth putting yourself and others at risk.
For more information, click here.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month- Job Resources Fair Oct 22
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. National Disability Employment Awareness Month began in 1945 to highlight the contributions of people with disabilities to the workforce and to raise awareness of the inequities they face.

In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Connecticut Department of Labor and Department of Aging and Disability Services have announced that Connecticut’s 9th annual Disability Employment Resource Fair will be held on Friday, October 22.

The fair will be a virtual event this year. The presentation will include information about resources such as free employment services, transportation, legal rights, assistive technology, education and more! To register for the fair, click here.
ASL Interpreters will be provided and a PowerPoint of the event will be sent out to all attendees following the event. If you need large print or a Word document, please contact Jill Larmett at jlarmett@capitalworkforce.org.
In addition to the annual Disability Employment Resource Fair, assistance for jobseekers is available virtually and in-person, including at:
  • The Connecticut Department of Labor’s American Job Centers (appointments are recommended). More information is available at portal.ct.gov/ajc.
  • CTHires, which serves as a one-stop resource to search for jobs, create a resume, and find training. More information is available at portal.ct.gov/cthires.
  • Additional job fair that are scheduled frequently across the state. For a full schedule, visit portal.ct.gov/AJC/recruitmentevents.

Please take a moment this month to recognize the strides we have made in disability employment, and all the work we have left to accomplish.

HORST Engineering Celebrates 75th Anniversary
On Tuesday, I had the honor of joining HORST Engineering’s 75th anniversary celebration as they cut the ribbon on their all-new manufacturing facility in East Hartford. The fully renovated 100,566 square-foot former warehouse will accommodate state-of-the-art computer-aided manufacturing equipment to help the business consolidate their work into one location.
As a multi-generational, family-owned business HORST has been a pillar of the community – most recently the company made the decision to close operations in other states to double down on their investment in East Hartford. The new location will also support HORST's long-term goal of expanding its skilled workforce.
CT State Community Colleges Showcase
Prepare for the next step at the Virtual CT State Community Colleges Showcase on Thursday, October 21 at 9AM. All twelve CT State Community Colleges will be available to highlight the variety of degree programs, four-year college transfer opportunities, financial aid and scholarships, student support services, community resources, student experiences and more! To register for the showcase, click here. Video on-demand content will be available to view through 11:30PM.
CIBA Earns 2021 College Success Award
A huge congratulations to East Hartford's Connecticut IB Academy (CIBA) for winning a 2021 College Success Award! Now in its fourth year, the GreatSchools College Success Award recognizes and celebrates public high schools across the country that excel at helping students enroll and succeed in college. CIBA was selected as one of only 1,770 schools in the US to win the College Success Award - Gold, an elevated level of distinction to recognize schools that have a multiyear track record of college success. Check out all the Connecticut winners by clicking here.
Mark Your Calendars: MCC Hosts Author & Poet Ada Limón
Manchester Community College (MCC), home of the Connecticut Poetry Circuit, is welcoming author and poet Ada Limón Tuesday, October 26, 7PM-8PM. Limón will read from her work live via WebEx. This is a free event and the public is invited to attend, to join the event click here.
To learn more about Limón and her poetry collections, click here.
COVID-19 Updates & Upcoming Vaccine Clinics
It's so important that we continue the precautions that have worked: wear a face mask, observe social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, get tested if you were in contact with anyone who's tested positive, etc. But, most importantly – please consider getting vaccinated if you haven't already.
For more information on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or to locate an appointment near you, click here or locate a DPH Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination clinic by clicking here. Those without access to the internet can call the Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line, available seven days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM, at (877) 918-2224.
For East Hartford-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here. And, for Manchester-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here.
Get ready for a new Manchester Public Library program! Starting Tuesday, October 19 at 3PM join the library for their monthly Tween Code Club to learn the basics of coding and meet with other who code. This program is best for tweens in Grade 6-8. Registration is required, to register call (860) 645-0821 or visit the reference desk. For further questions, please contact our Teen Librarian, Elaine at esteele@manchesterct.gov.
Improve your visibility in the job market on Tuesday October 19, 11AM-12:15PM during a virtual workshop on effective resume writing. This workshop will provide information on the skills and strategies needed to develop a visually appealing, competitive resume that gets positive response from employers. Sponsored by MCC Career Services, the event is free, to join click here.
The Northwest Park Annual Fall Festival kicks off Tuesday, October 19, 5PM-8PM with a week of fun filled Halloween activities! Join in the fun for the following activities:  
Tuesday, October 19 & Thursday, October 21, 5PM-8PM
  • Pumpkin Carving & Decorating, 5PM-7PM – carving tools will be available as supplies last.

Friday, October 22, 5PM-9PM

  • Town departments along with Police & Fire will be handing out candy
  • Pumpkin painting
  • Local vendors selling arts, crafts, and food
  • Jack-O-Lantern Zombie Walk (Ages 10+)
  • Viewings of the “Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”
  • Rec on the Run-Create Your Own Mask
  • Bounce Houses
  • Free Cotton Candy and Popcorn
  • Scarecrow Village

For more information, click here.

East Hartford Public Library will be hosting a virtual Makerspace Program on Thursday, October 21 at 6PM to design custom Minecraft characters using Tinkercad. 3D prints of your design will be available for pick up afterwards. This program is be for tweens, teens, and adults. Register by clicking here.
The Town of East Hartford is offering a flu clinic for local seniors at the East Hartford Senior Center (15 Milbrook Drive) on Friday, October 22, 1PM-3:30PM. There are NO out-of-pocket costs. Reservations are NOT necessary. For questions about the flu vaccine or clinic options for uninsured individuals, please contact the East Hartford Health Department at (860) 291-7324.
Please bring your driver’s license or other official ID and health insurance card. The following insurance plans are accepted for this clinic: Medicare; Medicare advantage plans for Aetna, Anthem, Connecticare, and CarePartners; Cigna; Aetna; Anthem; and Connecticare for individuals not on Medicare or Medicare advantage plans. For more information, click here.
East Hartford residents are invited to join this year's Trunk or Treat Drive Thru sponsored by the CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce and Pratt and Whitney, in conjunction with the Town of East Hartford. Trunk or Treat will be held rain or shine on Sunday, October 31 from 12PM-3PM on the Pratt and Whitney runway.
There is no fee to register, but pre-registration is required – this event is open to the first 500 pre-registered East Hartford families. Register here by Thursday, October 28 at 3 PM. Please complete only one registration per vehicle; each person riding in the vehicle does not need to register separately.
My office is always open if you or your family are in need of assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me by email at Jason.Rojas@cga.ct.gov or by phone at 860-240-8541.


Jason Rojas


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