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10/5/18 Update from Joe Courtney

Groton Public Schools Awarded $750,000 STEM Grant from the Department of Defense

Earlier this week, Groton Public Schools was awarded a grant for $750,000 from the Department of Defense to increase Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) comprehension. This funding is great news for Groton and it will go a long way to bolster their already impressive STEM curriculum. Education funding from the Department of Defense is particularly important for towns like Groton where the school system serves many military families. Because military installations are tax exempt, it creates a burden on host communities, so these schools rely on the federal government for additional funding. As ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and a senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, I am very happy this grant funds educational programs for our future generations AND supports our military families.

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Manufacturing Pipeline Graduate Returns as Instructor

Justin Stanley, a marine veteran from Brooklyn, CT represents a shining success for Eastern Connecticut’s manufacturing pipeline. After 4 years of serving his country overseas in Asia, Justin found employment in a variety of jobs back home, but he wanted to find a stable career to support him and his family. Through his local veteran’s representatives, Justin heard about the advanced manufacturing program at Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) and it was there that he discovered what would become his life’s work.

At QVCC Justin studied manufacturing technologies, graduating after only three semesters and garnering himself an internship at Micro-Precision. Following his internship, he was offered a full-time position as a machinist, where he spent the next 5 years mastering his craft. Now, Justin has returned to QVCC, this time as an educator to show others the path to creating a career in advance manufacturing.

Justin’s story is like many other graduates of the manufacturing pipeline program administered by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board. I helped create the manufacturing pipeline in 2015 by working with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to secure a $6 million-dollar federal grant to get the program up and running.

Now, local community colleges help to train students in the skills needed to meet the growing demand of the submarine industry and other manufacturing initiatives in the region. It has been hailed as a model of success for other programs across the country in a wide variety of industries including insurance and health care as well as manufacturing and defense. I am proud to support the work that QVCC and other Eastern Connecticut’s community colleges are doing to provide a high-quality education to their students.

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Fighting to Restore Net Neutrality

It is not surprising that large telecommunications companies are suing to block California’s net neutrality law because they stand to make a fortune after the FCC repealed federal net neutrality rules earlier this year. The repeal of net neutrality opened the door for broadband companies to institute pay-for-play schemes to maximize profit by throttling internet services for the users of popular websites like YouTube and Netflix. This change will lead to consumers paying more money for the same internet services they previously received. I believe that an internet that favors the deep pockets of big corporations will have a negative impact on small business in Connecticut while driving up costs for consumers.

That is why I joined my colleagues in both the House and Senate in signing a ‘friend of the court’ amicus brief in support of consumer advocates, tech companies, small businesses and state Attorneys General that are appealing the FCC’s decision. The internet has been a platform for innovation and growth for as long as it has existed, and the decision to jeopardize fair access was an enormous mistake. I will continue to fiercely oppose the repeal of net neutrality, and work alongside my colleagues in Congress to reinstate an open internet.

I hope you enjoyed this snapshot of my work, and as always thank you for taking a moment to read my weekly update. If you have any questions or concerns about the information in this newsletter, you can contact me through my website or by calling my Norwich district office at 860-886-0139.

Joe Courtney
Member of Congress

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