In Connecticut, Apprenticeships can lead Straight to Full Time Jobs

Another day, another apprenticeship program, or should I say, a pre-apprenticeship program? This one located in Connecticut and combines in-class education with a special online curriculum called Tooling-U that allows students to graduate with full credentials and sometimes even a job.

Hernandez, 18, is graduating this month with a pre-apprenticeship at AdChem Manufacturing Technologies Inc. (ACMT), a Manchester company that builds parts for aerospace company Pratt & Whitney.

“This is what I want my career to be now,” she said at ACMT on Tuesday, her regular shift at the 48,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. “Synergy [High School] gave me everything I need.”

She landed the part-time job in January through a new program that takes students through a 72-hour, online curriculum, called Tooling-U.

Run by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) in East Hartford, it’s one of two new programs this year registered with the state Office of Apprenticeship, which credentials workers once they complete paid training programs.

In Waterbury, the Manufacturing Alliance Service Corp. is running its version with 12 students from three city high schools: Wilby, Kennedy and Crosby. They’re going to finish Tooling-U before trying to sign on with any employers, career development coordinator Kevin Canady said.

In East Hartford, though, six of the 14 students taking Tooling-U have already been hired part-time, lending a hands-on component to their education.

And their employers are already talking about full-time positions.

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