Students Graduate from MxCC Skill Up for Manufacturing Course

April 6, 2021 (Middletown, Conn.) — Eleven Skill Up for Manufacturing trainees collected their industry and pre-apprentice credentials and head into the workforce following a brief graduation ceremony on April 6. Leaders from Workforce Alliance (WIOA), Middlesex Community College and Vinal Technical High School gathered to celebrate this latest class. Since February 2019, more than 130 Connecticut residents have completed the free program offered by WIOA in partnership with manufacturers and community colleges in South Central CT.

Skill Up graduates pose in a group“There are literally thousands of unfilled manufacturing jobs and not enough qualified workers in Connecticut to fill them,” said Bill Villano, president and CEO of WIOA, whose organization developed Skill Up with local employers using a successful model from Eastern CT. “This class includes several people who never considered a career in manufacturing until now and this program is delivering a vital boost for the industry and state’s economy.”

Participants were joined via live stream by Connecticut manufacturers and family members, and the program included remarks from WIOA President Villano, Middlesex Community College CEO Steven Minkler, Ed.D., and Vinal Tech Principal Javette Allen. Community colleges partner with technical high schools to access hands-on lab space.

Skill Up for Manufacturing pre-apprentice graduates have completed 250 hours of hands-on and classroom activities at Middlesex Community College/Vinal Technical High School earning them 175 pre-apprenticeship hours through the CT Department of Labor, plus OSHA 10 and Six Sigma certifications.

Connecticut manufacturing employers have a vital role in designing the course work and recruiting from classes. WIOA manages the program and manufacturers can access prescreened candidates and hiring incentives including 90% wage reimbursement during new hire training. Last month 17 companies participated in a Skill Up for Manufacturing recruitment event including: Barnes Aerospace, Hobson & Motzer, ASML, Light Metal Coloring, Holo-Krome, Ashcroft, O’Keefe Controls, Bead Industries, Atlas Stamping, Wepco Plastics, Ulbrich Steel, MW Industries, Sikorsky/LMCO, Microboard, TOMZ Corp, Marmon Utilities and PTA Plastics.

For more information about the next Skill Up for Manufacturing session in Middletown, please visit​.

Students from East Haddam, East Hampton, Higganum, Manchester, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown and Portland were among the latest Skill Up for Manufacturing graduating class.

About Middlesex Community College

Since 1966, Middlesex Community College has provided high-quality, affordable and accessible education to a diverse population, enhancing the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. A part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, MxCC offers more than 70 degree or certificate programs at the 35-acre campus in Middletown, MxCC@Platt in Meriden and online.

About Workforce Alliance

Workforce Alliance (WIOA) is the policy and oversight organization responsible for creating a comprehensive, community-wide response to the challenges of building a highly skilled workforce in South Central CT, which comprises 30 towns. Board members include business owners, local elected officials and community leaders in order to meet changing local needs and shifting national economic and workforce trends. WIOA oversees four American Job Center South Central CT locations in New Haven, Meriden, Middletown and Hamden. For more information visit