WALLINGFORD — Registration is open for a special employment program aimed at sparking interest in careers in the field of manufacturing.
Hubcap’s fourth manufacturing employment pipeline program is slated to begin next week.
The pipeline programs are designed to help recruit, assess and train the unemployed, underemployed and recent graduates or high school seniors.
The five-week program includes a math and language assessment, hands-on projects, introductions to local manufacturing employers and job searching skills.
The first manufacturing program drew 15 area residents in fall 2018. The second ran in March 2019 and the third in February 2020.
Joe Mirra, Hubcap founder and board chairman, said Tuesday that some participants in the three previous programs found jobs.
He said that on average, the programs drew about 20 participants, with 12 to 14 people completing the program. Some realize that a manufacturing career is not for them, so between seven and nine people receive job offers.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which began as the most recent manufacturing program ended, resulted in delayed job offers from employers, Mirra said. Many people took other jobs before the manufacturers were ready to offer jobs again.
Despite this, Mirra said that the manufacturing employment pipeline programs have yielded results.
He said that a participant from the first program secured employment and has been promoted three times. Another is considering engineering school, to be paid for by his employer. Two high school seniors started with jobs locally and now work at Sikorsky.
All of those people still live in Wallingford, Mirra said.
“You're not giving them jobs,” he said. “You're giving them careers, you're giving them futures. These career positions are salaried (with) benefits, retirement plans, which a lot of the jobs don't have today. It's a good career.”
He said that the content of the program has stayed the same because it’s been successful, adding that Hubcap is putting together a pipeline committee to assess the state of the program.
“We're going to bring the manufacturers back into the room and see if there are any additions or deletions they want in the program,” he said. “Right now, it's been successful. They've been happy, and it's worked out.”
Registration ends Friday and the program starts Oct. 14. Sessions are 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays at Hubcap, 128 Center St.
There is a $35 participation fee. Supplies and light dinner are included.
The program's major sponsors are local manufacturers Allnex, BYK, Hobson Motzer and Ulbrich Steel.
The programs are a joint effort by Hubcap, Wallingford Public Schools, Adult Education, the Economic Development Commission and Workforce Alliance.
Register by emailing name, address and cell phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Hubcap at 203-626-9351.