April 10, 2019

CT DOL funds $4.7M for mfg. training

HBJ Photo | Steve Laschever
HBJ Photo | Steve Laschever
Spartan Aerospace manager Wayne Thibodeau shows apprentice Christializ Reyes a machine-tool component used for crafting finely detailed metal parts.

Connecticut's labor agency has awarded $4.7 million to a pair of manufacturing-training partnerships who will find and train some of the thousands of jobless and underemployed youth and adults needed to replenish the state's strained manufacturing-employment pipeline.

The state Department of Labor (DOL) on Tuesday afternoon announced its award to the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board Manufacturing Industry Partnership and the Workforce Alliance Manufacturing Careers Partnership (WAMCP).

The Workforce Alliance partnership will draw over $3.4 million and the Northwest Regional Workforce partnership, $1.25 million, DOL said.

In return, both partnerships will recruit, screen, assess and train youth and adults for job placement with manufacturers, the agency said. The primary goal is to fill in-demand jobs in manufacturing that will support the state's employers and grow Connecticut's economy.

The awards are part of the state-funded $5 million Apprenticeship Connecticut initiative administered by DOL.

State lawmakers approved money in 2017 as part of a potentially $50 million program that DOL and its workforce-development partners will use to identity and train up to 10,000 unemployed and underemployed residents to fill job shortages in manufacturing and other industry sectors.

Workforce Alliance said its award will allow for the expansion of Skill Up for Manufacturing, which has already launched two five-week cycles in 2019 and has another class beginning May 6 at Gateway Community College in New Haven.

All graduates of the first group received at least one job offer. Expansion will mean more classes at Gateway and also Middlesex Community College in Middletown, plus partnerships with regional high schools and additional manufacturing employers who will continue training on-the-job.

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HBJ Special Report: Building Connecticut's workforce pipeline

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