EAST HARTFORD — Goodwin College is joining the state’s community colleges and four-year universities in offering classes to prepare students to go to work for the state’s manufacturers, who employ more than 165,000 people.
There are 28,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in this state than there were four years ago, the lowest point since the recession began. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy spoke Friday at a celebration of the new program, which began in May. He told a crowd of well-wishers at the East Hartford college that the “the jobs are here. The jobs are coming in greater numbers. Are we going to be able to fill them with people from Connecticut?”
Malloy said this program will build on improvements the state has made to machinist training programs at community colleges.
Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg said the new curriculum at Goodwin is “100 percent based on the needs of the employers.”
One piece will allow people who are already working in manufacturing to get a Manufacturing Skills Standards Council certificate, so if their factory moves, closes or downsizes, it will be easy for them to get another job elsewhere.
Those six courses take one year, with two at a time, and cost $9,000, teach about maintenance, safety, quality and measurement and manufacturing production, and the certificate is called “certified production tech.”
It’s different from the machining programs offered at Manchester Community College and Asnuntuck Community College, as those full-time programs prepare students to get their first jobs as machine operators or machinists. Manchester’s is less than a year, and costs $6,000; Asnuntuck’s takes a year, and costs $7,000.
There are 17 people in the first group working towards the credential, and they are going for free.
Goodwin also has two charter schools on campus, and it will encourage some of those students to take Introduction to Manufacturing at Goodwin while still in high school, to open their eyes to the possibilities of a career in manufacturing.
The entry-level wage for machine operators is $14.03, Goodwin’s promotional material said.
Goodwin, unlike Manchester and Asnuntuck, has not bought CNC machines for its students, but they will have the opportunity to get hands-on practice on machines at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, also in East Hartford, or at one of the businesses that is advising Goodwin on manufacturing employers’ needs.