In the News | Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative featured on WTNH New 8

EB taps into local schools for new workers


GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s safe to say that none of the Three Rivers Community College students in the welding lab at Ella T. Grasso Technical High School have never welded anything in their life. But after this program they’re going to have a brand new career.

In just ten weeks Jes Trejo of Groton could be a welder at Electric Boat. The professional writer is making a career change through the Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative which trains welders and other workers for local companies like EB.

Congressman Joe Courtney who helped secure the federal grant which pays for the program says “Total hiring in Connecticut is projected to be about 1,350 in trades, design and engineering and support positions. EB expects to grow from 14,000 to 18,000 by 2030.”

“I moved to New York to try to get a job in writing that did not work at all,” says Trejo.

The program provides a new career for the unemployed or underemployed.

“My previous job didn’t offer any benefits either at all,” says student Andres Vanegas of New London.

“It’s a way for people to be gainfully employed in one job with a career path with upward mobility,” says Marjorie Valentin, Associate Dean with Three Rivers Community College.

The three year, $6 million program provides free tuition to Three Rivers, a stipend, and other support. Not only do they get money for mileage and daycare but if their car breaks down they can also get help with that.

“All you have to do is the work,” says Trejo. “So it’s really it’s a no brainer.”

The welding classes are held at Ella T Grasso Technical High School in Groton which will also offer the training to its students once its new building is built.

Most of those who complete the training find work.

“It’s very reassuring,” says Vanegas.

“I still love my writing and photography but I found something else I can love now too,” says Trejo.

A brighter future for these students and their families. Vanegas has a three year old daughter.

“I do want to give her like a bright future,” he says.


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