State Colleges Roll Out Certification Meant to Boost Employment

Connecticut's State Colleges and University System has partnered with some of the biggest employers in the state in an effort to create an employment pipeline post graduation.

The program consists of a 10-month certification program that could be completed at any one of the state's community college campuses.

The programs would provide a manufacturing designation for the student and they can be placed with a company like Pratt and Whitney, Sikorsky or Electric Boat, among many companies that are participating.

“We believe it’s time for Connecticut’s community colleges to maximize its contribution to Connecticut’s economic future and to the future of our students," said CSCU President Mark Ojakian.

Electric Boat is slated to see a historic boost in hiring with thousands of more jobs set to be available as the company recently secured a $100 billion contract from the Department of Defense to build 12 new submarines.

Combined with commercial contracts with Pratt and Whitney, Gov. Dannel Malloy said he's comfortable linking the state's economic fate to those two sectors.

"Those contracts are in place," the governor told reporters following the event at Pratt and Whitney's Hangar Museum in East Hartford. "When you talk about the Pratt and Whitney engine which has literally never lost a competitive bid and has a 7,000 engine backlog, we’re going to be producing those engines for many many years to come.”

One student, Sabrina Bouvier, will graduate from Quinebaug Valley Community College tomorrow. She completed the certificate program and says she feels for the first time in her life that she has a career path.

“It hit me like an epiphany one day several months ago, you know going in and doing my usual thing. Something silly like cutting stock, and I kind of realized, wait a minute, I would love to do homework for work. This is great. This must be what it feels like to have a career, have a passion, and know where you’re headed in life.”

Maura Dunn, the Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for Electric Boat, says her company is committed to hiring Connecticut graduates.

“These skills matter to people. They get you a foot in the door.”

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