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Education & Workforce Development

STEM Initiatives
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

Eight students successfully completed CORE Manufacturing Skills Training as part of the Mid-Massachusetts STEM Pathways Initiative. The training was conducted from June 24 through July 2, 2009, at Worcester Technical High School. At graduation, Ted Coghlin, Central Mass. Institute for Workforce Development, provided encouragement and spoke with the students about the opportunity this training provides them in the work world. Instructors Mike Hurley and Matt Healy, Marie Annese from the Division of Apprentice Training, Leslie Parady, MassMEP Program Manager, and Lisa Derby Oden, STEM Project Director, also attended the graduation to congratulate the students. As a result of participating in the training, the students received their Massachusetts Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate. The Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate training is also applicable at Quinsigamond Community College as an elective, three-credit course if the students matriculate at the school.

Seven of the students are youth, ages from 17-24, that are part of the WIA Summer Jobs for Youth & Young Adults Program. Students were recruited largely through the efforts of Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC). WCAC had 800 applications for 500 positions from the greater Worcester, Blackstone Valley, and Southbridge regions and did a great job in screening the students initially. Following initial screening, the students interviewed with Leslie Parady, MassMEP Program Manager. Once accepted into the training, the students attended class from 7:30AM to 4 PM for the two week training program. 

The CORE program trains people with little or no prior manufacturing experience in the basics of manufacturing operations in a fraction of the time of traditional programs. With one week of classroom training followed by one week of hands-on training in the shop with the machines.  After completing the course, students take home a lamp that they fabricate during the class.

During the course, students learn to start with raw material, mill and turn to a desired shape, drill and tap for wiring, finish, and assemble. They are also introduced to CNC program applications. The training helps to position the participants for career ladders that allow long-term growth and higher earning potential. One student that was able to join in the training is an adult who is looking to get into this field of work. Both instructors remarked that he was a wonderful role model for the younger students.

Starting July 6, 2009, the students will attend a week of training that begins with three days of Work Readiness Prep conducted by Junior Achievement and pre-employment training concludes with OSHA 10 hour certification.

After completion of the formal classroom training, the students move into six weeks of subsidized work opportunities at Worcester area companies from July 6 to August 21, 2009.

Funding for job subsidization is being provided by YouthWorks and WIA funds. Mid-Massachusetts STEM Pathways Initiative is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The program is an equal opportunity program.

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