People working at a conference table with a laptop

Identifying Strategies to Increase Workforce Participation in Connecticut

Public Sector Solutions, Workforce & Economic Mobility


$2M-3MPassed by state legislature to support flexible transportation stipends for individuals enrolled in sector-based training programs

Social Finance worked with Connecticut’s Governor’s Workforce Council and the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS) to identify barriers to workforce participation across four areas – childcare, transportation, benefits cliffs, and behavioral health services – and developed a set of recommendations for how Connecticut could enhance its existing services to increase workforce participation among residents.   


  • Increase workforce participation among Connecticut residents. 
  • Remove barriers to economic mobility by improving access to affordable job training programs and supportive services.  

The Work

The Social Finance team:

  • Outlined opportunities for the state to expand transportation access to priority populations, including a bulk purchasing ride program that will scale the availability of public transportation services across the state.  
  • Conducted a landscape analysis to determine the value of investing in the federal government’s SNAP Employment & Training program, leading OWS to dedicate a significant portion of its portfolio to SNAP E&T investments. 
  • Developed a new compensation schedule to help the Office of Early Childhood create a vision to realign pay scales for child care providers and encourage more people to enter and stay in early childhood careers, benefitting both the state’s workforce and the providers themselves. 
  • In collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, advised on scaling the state’s use of a benefits cliff calculator to help Connecticut residents understand how various career pathways and employment decisions might affect public benefit eligibility.  

The Results

Significant progress has been made on these strategies, which were part of the Governor’s Workforce Council’s 2020 Workforce Strategic Plan. In 2021, Connecticut’s state legislature passed an expanded transportation program and $2M-$3M to support flexible transportation stipends for individuals enrolled in sector-based training programs.

We would not have been able to execute on developing our strategic plan without this much needed support. The team made a huge impact at a pivotal time.Niall Dammando, OWS Chief of Staff

Related Work