Job Training Forum
They came to share their stories – some of success, others frustrated at having lost jobs long ago yet still being unemployed. Many such individuals attended the open forum at CTWorks in New Britain recently when Congressman Chris Murphy (D-5th District), Dep. Commissioner Dennis Murphy and Glenn Marshall, Commissioner of the CT DOL, visited.
“I want to bring your voices to Washington,” Murphy said. “This is a disastrous economic time. In New Britain, there still aren’t enough jobs with benefits and good pay; people’s lives are in disarray. Unemployment is at 12 percent … Washington wants to cut funding for programs that keep centers such as this going in the recession.”
Murphy voted against a bill in Washington that eliminates funding for the Workforce Investment Act, which provides a portion of the resources that sustain CTWorks Career Centers in Hartford, New Britain, Enfield and Manchester. These centers, operating in partnership with the CT DOL and Capital Workforce Partners, provided nearly 35,000 adults and youth with job placements and training in 2010.
“I believe we need to cut government spending. We can’t cut what trains people for today’s jobs that need filling. We must have proper training programs to convert skills for those jobs,” he said.
Peter Paul Electronics, valve manufacturer in New Britain, hired two employees who went through CTWorks training programs. Equipment costing $300,000/piece requires skilled labor. For them, it’s crucial to maintain skill training programs.
“I came to New Britain from Puerto Rico 24-years-ago,” said Edgar Cumba. “I worked in shipping for 20 years. They closed and I was unemployed since August 2009.”
Cumba came to CTWorks, took classes in lean manufacturing, 6 Sigma (processing), 21st century leadership, ISO, 3485 (medical) and ISO9100. He just had an interview and hopes to get hired.
“The training programs here have been very helpful for me,” Cumba said.
“Our company wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for these programs,” said Raquel Kennedy, owner of Victory Energy Solutions in New Britain.
The company began in 2009 focusing on high-quality energy management services. The business needed a workforce certified in “green” technical skills. CTWorks, education partners and Jobs Funnel (pre-employment preparation, job training and placement service) helped. Jobs Funnel offered candidates for on-the-job training while others were hired after obtaining key certificates.
Dan Ayotte, unemployed with 35-years experience in manufacturing felt age prevents him from being hired. “I’m 59-years-old. I’m too old. They think I require too much.”
Kevin Feehan said his job now is to find a job but funds are running low. “I can only eat spaghetti for so long.”
Edgardo Acuna lost his job in 2010. He met Lynn Leveston, computer literacy facilitator at CTWorks who taught him computers.
“She is an angel of God,” he said. “My advice is never give up. CTWorks does work.” He now works for American Eagle Roofing.
CTWorks and its partnerships, such as Career T.E.A.M., are vital in these difficult economic times.