Challenge: Redefining middle school career & technical education
The Middletown, Conn. Public School System, recognizing that many of their students were choosing to leave the district in favor of attending STEM-themed magnet schools, came to CCAT for assistance in developing their own robust STEM program for grades 6 – 8. Through a comprehensive planning process, we were able to work with staff to introduce three new courses based on CCAT’s CATALYST Aerospace, Young Manufacturers Academy, and CATALYST Energy curricula. The district outfitted a dedicated STEM Lab, while CCAT trained instructors and assisted in supply purchasing.
The new “STEM Electives” replaced the previously offered, more traditional technical education classes in the middle school schedule; all sixth graders and most seventh/eight graders now rotate through a STEM course on a quarterly basis. The engaging real-world contexts that CCAT’s curriculum offers is not only reinforcing science and mathematics skills, but has also served to excite students about future STEM career opportunities.
Manufacturing Career Advancement
Challenge: Young adult workforce development
To aid Connecticut manufacturers in developing a skilled workforce, CCAT’s Manufacturing Careers Program, funded by Workforce Solutions Collaborative Metro Hartford, offers wage subsidies to employers to hire, train, and retain lower skilled workers between the ages of 19-24. The program provides services based on each manufacturer’s workforce needs in basic skills, shop math, machine operations, and the soft skills required for employees to develop and grow within a company. With assistance from the program, Carey-Floyd Manufacturing and Mallory Industries were named 2015 Young Adult Employer Champions by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. The award honors companies across the country for their exemplary conduct in providing high quality jobs and successfully training lower skilled employees. ACMT, Inc. and Okay Industries, Inc. have been nominated for the 2016 Young Adult Employer Champions award.