Synergy High School in East Hartford students visited CCAT’s Advanced Manufacturing Center on April 3 as part of a collaborative effort to train students for entry-level manufacturing jobs.
CCAT’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program addresses a persistent disconnect between employers and job seekers – while urban young adults are struggling to earn a living wage, manufacturers are struggling to attract skilled labor both for a growing number of positions and to replenish a workforce from which baby boomers are retiring at a rapid pace. The CCAT Pre-Apprenticeship Program strengthens the students’ link to employers and mitigates hiring risks, while providing “learn and earn” opportunities as a critical step to full-time employment.
The program delivers 144 hours of targeted instruction to prepare job seekers for entry-level manufacturing jobs. Candidates are recruited from non-traditional talent pipelines including comprehensive and alternative high schools, adult education providers, and community-based organizations. It requires 72 hours of classroom instruction, which is delivered in a blended learning environment and includes employer-selected and approved on-line courses, combined with lecture, discussion, demonstration, and testing facilitated by CCAT, a Connecticut Department of Labor approved training provider.
Currently, the 17 Synergy students are supported by a Career Navigator funded through Capital Workforce Partners. The Career Navigator supports the students with job readiness training and employment retention services, which are critical factors in the success of the overall program. In addition, the Synergy students are participating in guided instruction with 32 online learning modules ranging from OSHA and Safety Standards to Machining Techniques and Quality Control as well as metals and other materials. The students have participated in two hands on tours at the AMC, one being a general manufacturing tour, the second being hands on with CNC machines and putting to test what they learned in their ToolingU training. The goal of their April 3 visit was to provide hands-on experience with CNC machines while also learning material preparation, blueprint reading, and the set up and running of a CNC machine. Currently, six of the 14 students in this apprenticeship program are placed for apprenticeships at ACMT and Spartan Aerospace Manufacturing.