WALLINGFORD — All of the programs offered by the hybrid-business incubator HUBCAP Wallingford stopped when the pandemic began. Now the organization is ready to start providing educational opportunities again.
Joe Mirra, chairman of the board of directors of HUBCAP Wallingford, explained that HUBCAP started to prepare students for the manufacturing industry four to five years ago, as the need for more workers in the field was growing. Mirra said companies reached out to HUBCAP in an effort to find a potential solution, and they started to work with the school district and Wallingford’s Economic Development Commission to put together a program.
The manufacturing education efforts were working out well prior to the pandemic, but they were discontinued unexpectedly, Mirra said.
“I’m disappointed that we had to close because we were helping a lot of people find jobs,” he said. “It worked out for the students, it worked out for the manufacturers.”New manufacturing program
HUBCAP recently received a grant from the James H. Napier Foundation to purchase equipment for virtual programming. The goal is to hold the first manufacturing program since the pandemic began in April or May. Mirra said they are working to accommodate students in a hybrid format, which will allow them to attend class either in person or remotely.
He said HUBCAP has received positive feedback from students. The manufacturing course is a six week program that meets once a week. Mirra said HUBCAP sets up a mock shop for students. Help with a resume writing and tutoring in math and reading are part of the program. Employers attend some of the classes.Jobs in the manufacturing field
Allnex, a manufacturer of industrial coating resins, sponsors HUBCAP programs. The company also coaches HUBCAP students on how to approach a job interview and educates them about jobs available, said Frank DiCristina, Allnex site manager.
The company offers employees looking to grow in the industry a continuing education program, DiCristina said.
School groups and programs at the Spanish Community of Wallingford have participated in company tours and mentoring sessions.
Allnex is now hiring production process operators, instrument and electrician technicians and engineers.
For more information about Allnex, visit allnex.com/en.
Hobson & Motzer, a precision metal manufacturer in Wallingford, started working with HUBCAP prior to the pandemic by offering support and mentoring students.
Bruce Dworak, president of the company, said they are also working with the local school district to potentially provide students with internship opportunities.
The industry continues to have a need for workers. At Hobson & Motzer, some of the open positions are machine operator, tool designer, automation specialist and manufacturing technician.
For more information about the company, visit www.hobsonmotzer.com.
HUBCAP, 128 Center St., also offers healthcare, services, hospitality and small business start-up programs. For more information, visit www.hubcapwallingford.org or call 203-626-9351.