Governor Lamont announces the retirement of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby and appoints Danté Bartolomeo as successor




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06/17/2021

Governor Lamont announces the retirement of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby and appoints Danté Bartolomeo as successor

(HARTFORD, CT) – Gov. Ned Lamont today announced that Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby plans to step down from his post in the state by the end of June. The governor intends to appoint Danté Bartolomeo, who is currently the agency’s deputy commissioner, as his successor.

Commissioner Westby served in the agency for over five years, first as Deputy Commissioner and then as Commissioner from June 2018. Prior to joining the Public Service, he was a consultant for SEIU, where he handled negotiations in Connecticut, Florida and New Orleans. . He has also served as Vice President and District Manager of SEIU Local 32BJ, President of SEIU Local 531 and Vice President of the AFL-CIO of Connecticut. Under his leadership, the agency expanded the apprenticeship program, strengthened working partnerships with the five Connecticut Workforce Development Councils, and invested resources and funds in employment and development programs. training to support the state’s labor pool.

Deputy Commissioner Bartolomeo assumed her current post in January 2019. Previously, she had been elected for two terms as State Senator for the 13the Senate District of Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown and Rockfall, during which she served as Co-Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Promotion Committee and Co-Chair of the Children’s Committee. Priority issues included the safety and well-being of children, access to health care and the continuation of education from primary apprenticeship through post-secondary and vocational training. Prior to her tenure in the General Assembly, Bartolomeo was Deputy Majority Leader in Meriden City Council, where she served two terms and focused on education advocacy.

“I am incredibly grateful to Commissioner Westby for his leadership, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic which sent a flood of nearly 600,000 residents to the Department of Labor for help.” Governor Lamont said. “He led a team that got $ 8.5 billion in unemployment benefits paid into six programs – some of which were created just weeks before. He has all my respect and I wish him the best for his well-deserved retirement. I would like to thank Danté for having accepted this management position. From day one she has been involved in the mission and programs of the ministry. I have no doubt that she can quickly make the transition to her new role as Commissioner. “

“I am honored to have served this agency and thank Governor Lamont for his support of our mission and our staff. Commissioner Westby said. “The past year has tested us immeasurably and the staff at the Connecticut Department of Labor have taken up every challenge – for that they have my deepest respect and gratitude. Deputy Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski, Danté and the whole team deployed program after program to serve our residents, solved the problems caused by outdated technology and few resources, and did whatever they had to do to do it. work and get benefits for locals who needed it. We still have a lot to do and I have every confidence that the team will continue its extraordinary work under Danté’s leadership.

“It is an honor to be nominated, and I thank Governor Lamont for his trust and confidence,” Deputy Commissioner Bartolomeo said. “Commissioner Westby is leaving an incredible legacy: The Connecticut Department of Labor has received national recognition from the United States Department of Labor for our apprenticeship and workforce development programs. These programs benefit generations of young people entering the workforce and create a pool of highly skilled labor for employers. He has been a committed and thoughtful leader and left us with big shoes to fill. We wish him the best for his retirement. “

Deputy Commissioner Bartolomeo will begin his duties as Acting Commissioner upon the retirement of Commissioner Westby. His appointment will be sent to the General Assembly for advice and approval.

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont





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