BRISTOL - The Bristol Adult Education Center celebrated the graduation of their “most successful group yet” for their workforce training program Friday according to director Larry Covino.
The workforce training program, which has been held for four years, graduated seven students Friday, four of whom had received job interviews and three of whom had already found employment. Friends and family along with community leaders gathered at the center to celebrate the graduates’ achievements as they received certificates and their own toolboxes.
The program consisted of 26 days or 72 hours of classroom time in which participants learned workplace conduct, math skills, conversions, blueprint reading, resume building and other useful skills. They also received 20 days or 60 hours of hands-on experience and instruction working on the machine floor of Rowley Spring and Stamping next door.
This year’s workforce program graduates included Elizabeth Correa, Evan Corriveau, Glenn Fortier, Michael McLaughlin, Dawn Pearson, Jose Rodriguez and Patrick Singleton.
Singleton explained how he had learned to work on a Torsion machine manufactured locally as well as an optical comparator used for quality control and a four-slide machine.
“I feel like we have a 100 percent better chance of getting a job after taking this course,” he said. “We were provided with the equivalent of a year’s worth of experience. I’m glad I did it. It gives me a lot of confidence about getting employed in the field of manufacturing.”
“Before this class if you had asked me what a caliper or micrometer was I would have told you to ask Bill Nye the Science Guy,” said McLaughlin. “Now we have above average knowledge in the manufacturing industry.”
“They have seen tremendous growth,” said Covino. “This group is unequivocally the best and most successful that we’ve trained. Now, we are looking for financial support to continue this program. During the first couple of years we were supported by the Main Street Community Foundation. Last time, we were supported by the City of Bristol. It took 5 minutes tops of explaining this program to Mayor Ken Cockayne for him to decide to support us. Without the city stepping up and sponsoring us we couldn’t do this. Everybody recognizes the need to have a trained, skilled workforce and now everybody is stepping up.”
“Rowley is proud of our program and our students,” said John Dellalana, president of Rowley Spring and Stamping. “This is the best batch yet and many of you have already secured jobs. Congratulations and best of luck to you.”
“I would wish you luck as you pursue a new career in manufacturing but I know you won’t need luck,” said Cockayne. “You have completed a well-recognized training program that demonstrates your skill and interest in manufacturing. You should be commended for taking control of your future by completing this intensive program. Please understand you have made me and everyone in Bristol very proud and we support you as you pursue new careers: hopefully with a Bristol manufacturer.”
“This program is unique to Connecticut and unique to Bristol,” said Superintendent of Schools Ellen Solek. “This will be a catalyst for growth in Connecticut and Bristol. The slogan for Bristol is ‘All Heart’ and you are what embodies that saying as far as I’m concerned. You are academically talented, creatively motivated and ready to be successful. This program has to continue; you represent this city’s heart and soul and love for manufacturing.”
“Although funding has run out this program has to continue,” seconded Cindy Scoville, president and CEO of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce. “This is an awesome program.”
Scoville said that she would be meeting with representatives from Electric Boat and Sikorsky soon, both of which she said would provide “awesome jobs in the area for people of all ages.”
Sponsors of the workforce program this year include Rowley Spring and Stamping, the Connecticut Department of labor, Patriot Manufacturing, Economy Spring, North American Spring Tool, Marion Manufacturing, the New England Spring and Metal Stamping Association, Connecticut Spring & Stamping, the Bristol Board of Education, Sirois Tool, The Main Street Community Foundation, Atlantic Precision Spring Inc, The City of Bristol Connecticut, Wafios, Century Spring, the Smaller Manufacturers Association, Southington Tool & Manufacturing Corporation, The InterWire Group, Ultimate Wireforms, Inc. and The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.