HARTFORD Conn. (AP) — Connecticut has teamed with employment search engine Indeed to create a state-specific online portal to link those who have lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic with employers as the economy reopens.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday the portal is the first of its kind in the country and part of a new program called the CT Back to Work Initiative, which also will include an online job fair and online job training programs for the approximately 610,000 state residents who have filed for unemployment during the pandemic.

“This helps you hit the ground running,” Lamont said. “As the unemployment comp begins to ramp down, the jobs are going to ramp up, and we want you to really take advantage of that.”

State labor officials said about 40 companies have signed up to be part of the online job fair, which is scheduled to run from June 16 to 18. The event will include virtual job interviews and meet-and-greet events, the governor's office said.

State officials said more than 11,000 people have already begun participating in online training programs that have been offered by the state since May that have been focused on the information technology sector.

Lamont said that program is being expanded to include manufacturing and other job training programs for the unemployed. Those classes will also be made available later in the summer to students at Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and people with jobs who are looking to expand their skills.

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and I hope this gives you a bit of an opportunity,” Lamont said.

In other coronavirus related news in Connecticut:


The state reported 246 people were being treated in hospitals on Thursday for COVID-19, down 24 patients from Wednesday.

Lamont said testing also showed positive signs with just over 2% of the coronavirus tests coming back positive.

But the death toll continues to rise in Connecticut, with another 26 coronavirus-related fatalities reported Thursday. That brought the state's reported total to 4,146.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or lead to death.



The state has launched a new public service campaign designed to encourage people to continue safe social distancing practices even as stores and restaurants begin to open up.

The television spots and billboards carry the message, “If you have to ask, wear the mask,” which Lamont said is designed to end confusion over when people should be wearing face masks in public.



Some of the cadets who were sent home in March have returned to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where they are being monitored for signs of the coronavirus as they prepare for summer training assignments.

More than 200 members of the class of 2021 returned to the New London campus on Saturday, The Day reported.

All were tested for COVID-19 and so far only one has tested positive, academy spokesman Cmdr. Dave Milne said. That cadet is in isolation away from the barracks. Eight other cadets who had contact with the infected student also were directed to quarantine in a separate wing of building.

The cadets will all be tested again before leaving the academy in two weeks for their summer training. During their time in New London, the cadets are not allowed to leave the academy grounds and must wear masks when they leave their rooms, except when they are exercising.

As precautions against the virus, the academy has staggered mealtimes and arranged for cadets to sit in small groups in different areas of the cafeteria.

Second-year and third-year cadets will return to campus later this month. First-year students are expected in July.

The academy enrolls over 1,000 cadets, who attend the school tuition-free and graduate as officers with a Bachelor of Science degree and a requirement to spend five years in the service.