Learning about our nation’s employment laws and labor history, and creating more educational opportunities are certainly worthwhile endeavors.  Indeed, in this time of economic turmoil, investing in vocational and education programs may be viewed as a down payment on getting more people into a taxpaying role. 

To that end the Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed by Congress in the last few weeks had a number of earmarks for programs in Connecticut that will have a direct impact on those issues. 

You can view the whole list off of the Waterbury Republican-American’s website.  For example, ARC of New London County received $238,000 for adult vocational training.  And the Connecticut Council on Family Services Agencies received $381,000 for a welfare-to-work initiative.

For those interested in labor law, there was one unusual entry from an association that I must confess that I was not aware of: the Greater New Haven Labor History Association. 

What is the GNHLHA and what is its mission? According to its website, it is "to collect, preserve, and share the history of working people in the Greater New Haven Area. Its membership consists of unions and individuals, with an Executive Board composed of retired trade unionists, active trade unionists, and students and teachers interested in labor history."

According to the Rep-Am website, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro put in an earmark for the GNHLHA of $143,000 for "exhibits and education programs". 

What might some of those programs be? According to the GNHLHA website, current and future exhibits and programs include: 

  • An exhibit at the New Haven Colony Historical Society about the clothing and garment workers’ Locals in the New Haven area;
  • A labor history walking tour of the River Street area in Fair Haven;
  • Transcriptions of about 35 oral history interviews conducted by volunteers in the early 1990s, and making the text available on our web site;
  • A research guide based on the union records surveys, to be made available in print form and on the web

For nearly $150,000 in federal funds, it’ll be interesting seeing what events occur over the upcoming year from this niche organization.