New program gives New Haven students manufacturing experience

New manufacturing program available to New Haven students
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – Eyewitness News is your back-to-school authority.

As kids in the Elm City returned to class Monday, a new program will give students a chance to earn college credits while learning an in-demand skill all at the same time.

The new Manufacturing Pathways Program being offered by New Haven Public Schools is starting this fall.

“And with this particular program, they have the opportunity to gain as many as two years of college credits during that four years. With their high school diploma, they’ll also have an Associate’s Degree in manufacturing, technology engineering,” said Evie Velazquez, Assistant Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools.

When it comes to manufacturing, there are jobs with competitive salaries at roughly $60,000 a year, but companies need skilled workers.

A program like this can help train them, and it’s timely.

“We know that the median age of people in manufacturing, they’re getting ready to retire,” said Dina Natalino, Supervisor at College & Career Pathways. “I think one of the most exciting about the creation of the manufacturing pathway was the collaboration with industry, higher ed, community partners, to come up with what are the needs and how do we address those needs.”

There are 45 freshmen: 15 each at Hillhouse, Wilbur Cross and Career Regional High Schools with the program running in step with the manufacturing and engineering program at Gateway Community College.

Students will not only eventually take classes there, but also at state-of-the-art manufacturing labs which will be built at Cross and Hillhouse, thanks to a $2 million federal grant secured by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

“We will have 3 computer aided design dedicated classrooms where the students have the latest manufacturing software where the students learn to design, everything from consumer products, it could be a razor, we have a partnership with Schick, where we were able to got and look at the plant or it could be as large as a helicopter. We know that helicopters are also made in CT, also electric boat is making submarines, so kids will be able to look at, learn, how engineers use computers to design different things,” Velazquez said.

“Really allows for kids to not only engage in something’s that interesting to them but to leave with something that’s more tangible. Many of our kids will go onto college, others will go into the workforce and having the industry cert is going to put them ahead of others applying for positions.”