Manufacturing remains a leading industry in the state, supporting over 150,000 jobs and providing family supporting wages to maintain thriving communities.  Essential to the growth of manufacturing output is the continued flow of talented and skilled workers to move the industry forward.  To facilitate a pipeline of future workers we are excited to announce the inaugural class of a new manufacturing training program for adults at Derby High School supported by a partnership of local organizations.

“This program is an invaluable resource for residents who may find themselves unemployed or underemployed and looking for economic stability. It will provide participants in our community, our neighbors, with a meaningful pathway to gain the technical training to secure a good paying career with real opportunity for future advancement,” said State Representative Kara Rochelle (D – Ansonia, Derby). “Extending this opportunity locally to our residents was conceptualized prior to Covid-19, and as we start to put the pandemic behind us, this program will help our community and neighbors recover and build back better, with a direct line to the middle class. Thank you to my dear friends and partners in this effort, Joe Carbone, Rich DuPont, and Derby Superintendent Matthew Conway, who have been integral in expanding manufacturing training in our region.”

The Introduction to Manufacturing Program is a partnership between The WorkPlace, Apprenticeship Connecticut Initiative Grant, Housatonic Community College (HCC), and Derby Public Schools. The eight-week, 120-hour training prepares adults for entry-level manufacturing positions within precision manufacturing companies. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate from Housatonic Community College and be prepared to sit for the National Institute for Metal Working Skills Measurement, Material & Safety credentialing exam.  Most significantly, participants will be ready to start employment with local businesses or pursue further education at HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center.

“Today is a great day.  The design and goal from inception were to offer this program to our students during the day and adults and recent graduates in the evening.  This program will change lives forever,” said Dr. Matthew J. Conway, Superintendent, Derby Public Schools.  “It provides an opportunity to dream, to prepare, to gain skills that will open doors for a career in a sought-after field with a sustainable future. This program is a part of creating an economic plan that can change in the lives of people who possess the grit to enroll and for the community in which they reside.

This is a true partnership with HCC, The WorkPlace, Derby Public Schools, and the individuals who enroll. We have expanded our family by opening our doors.”

Classes take place at Derby High School’s state-of-the-art manufacturing laboratory where training closely simulate activities on an actual shop floor. The production performed during the length of the program will culminate in four separate projects and will teach participants the fundamentals of machining. The curriculum includes manufacturing math, blueprint reading, precision measurement, benchwork, safety, and machine technology.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Program is a great source of pride for Housatonic Community College,” said Dwayne Smith, Ph.D., CEO of Housatonic Community College. “This collaboration is a perfect example of what is possible when a community comes together to solve multiple challenges, and I am extremely grateful to our education, civic and community partners for furthering HCC’s mission to expand access to training, education, and opportunity throughout our community.”

“On behalf of Professors Scobie and Steeves, Dean Avant, Tatiana Rampino the Housatonic Community College (HCC) team helping to support the state’s manufactures, I wish to thank Dr Conway, Joe Carbone, Sarah Lewis, and the staff at The WorkPlace for their commitment to this partnership and in making this vision a reality,” said Richard DuPont, Director of Community and Campus Relations at HCC.  “From the day we initiated planning for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at Derby High School, it was always intended to serve students and adults with training that will open doors to career paths offering gainful employment in manufacturing today and well into the future.”

In addition to classes at Derby High School, participants will receive case management, supportive services, tutoring, and have access to workshops at the American Job Centers. They will also participate in a 2-week “Manufacturing Workforce Readiness Bootcamp” at The WorkPlace. The Bootcamp provides training on the work-readiness and soft skills needed to be successful in the manufacturing sector.

“This partnership is setting the standard for industry-driven apprenticeships and creating opportunity for workers to acquire the skills needed to secure and retain quality jobs in manufacturing,” said Joseph Carbone, President and CEO, The WorkPlace. “Manufacturers have jobs to fill today and will have more over the coming years. Together, we are stepping up to be a solution and providing opportunities for Connecticut’s workforce in a growing and transforming industry.

This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant and the Connecticut Department of Labor Apprenticeship Connecticut Initiative to bolster the pipeline of qualified workers in the manufacturing sector and prepare participants for employment or apprenticeship opportunities.

Anyone wanting more information about the program should go to The WorkPlace website at or email Sarah Lewis at