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Capital Workforce Partners works with its Education Partners

March 31, 2017 MANUFACTURING   + SHARE THIS

Capital Workforce Partners and their various partners from education and business, are pleased to announce the successful graduation of a number of previously underemployed and unemployed individuals, who will receive certificates in Precision Manufacturing CPM/CAM 4 from the Manchester Community College Program.  The graduation was held on Friday, March 24th at 10 a.m. at Great Path Academy, Community Commons.  With the support of Capital Workforce Partners Advanced Manufacturing and federal-state grant investments, ten graduates successfully graduated last Friday and have since been placed in manufacturing jobs. 

This program is meeting some of the greatest challenges facing advanced manufacturing.  These challenges include a shortage of labor that is needed to sustain growth, as well as having a generation of incumbent workers nearing retirement, which is leading to critical levels of need for the next generation of advanced manufacturing workers.  Capital Workforce Partners is providing support for low-income individuals to pursue job training opportunities, which will have a tremendous impact on the lives of these individuals, their families, and their community.

In response to this need, Capital Workforce Partners works with its Education Partners at Manchester Community College and Asnuntuck Community College, in recruiting and promoting their programs.  Those who qualify can get scholarship assistance via the WIOA (Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act) within one of our American Job Centers.  Capital Workforce Partners has also helped over 220 individuals, this year alone, get employment in this burgeoning industry via programs like Step Up, Best Chance, Business Services and Dislocated Worker On the Job Training programs.   

Meet Jeff Wark. Jeff, through our American Job Center in Manchester, CT, learned of the WIOA scholarship to help cover the costs of Manchester Community College's (MCC) Advanced Manufacturing Program. Jeff fell on hard times after having medical issues that led to him losing his job. These medical issues persisted for over eight months before he was able to recover. While many would give up, Jeff saw an opportunity to build his skills by attending MCC's program. "I would like to thank Beverly Prutting (American Job Center Career Agent in Manchester) for her help in securing the WIOA scholarship so I could build my skills at Manchester Community College. The program itself was a challenge, but knowing I had people like Bev in my corner, I knew I could overcome and rebuild my life again" Said?? Jeff. Jeff is now employed full time with benefits at ACMT (Advanced Composites and Metalforming Technologies) in Manchester.

Meet Jean Vargas.  Jean graduated from New Britain High School’s Careers Academy in June of 2016.  Jean learned of MCC’s Advanced Manufacturing program through a presentation done by Timothy Blonsky (CWP’s Advanced Manufacturing Coordinator) and staff from Capital Workforce Partners’s Youth Program and became very interested.  Timothy helped Jean navigate MCC’s paperwork and helped him get all set up to attend their August cohort.  Jean utilized the fast track bus system every day for six months and is now employed at EDAC Technologies in Newington.  “Jean definitely represents the next generation of Manufacturing Employees.  I am excited for Jean” Said Dave Russell, Director of MCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program. 

Meet Kafar Hassan.  Kafar’s story is an especially poignant one. Kafar was a refugee from Ethiopia who came to Hartford a few years ago from South Africa with the goal of establishing himself here before bringing his wife and son here to live.  Soon after he moved, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and died a few months later, leaving his son with relief workers in South Africa. 

Fast forward a couple of years, of working at less than $10.50 per hour.  Capital Workforce Partners connected Kafar with this Advanced Manufacturing Training program at MCC.  Kafar has already started his job at EDAC Technologies at $18.00 per hour with room for growth.

Kafar’s tenacity to succeed was fueled by his desire to raise and save monies to move his son from overseas to live with him in the Hartford area.  Kafar came to Hartford, CT from Gigiga, Ethiopia, where he was born forty years ago, fleeing in 1991 from Gigiga, which has been ravished for decades by political and tribal fighting. Kafar was raised by a single mother when his father was killed in the fighting. She and her family were able to place him in a seminary school in Nazareth, now called Adama, in another province. He completed high school there and began his post-secondary education.  When Kafar moved to Durban he volunteered with different human rights organizations, eventually co-founding “International Refugees Services.”

The resettlement process took about seven years, during which he met and married his wife, Benicia. They had a son, Robel, who was born in November of 2008.  As part of the resettlement process, Kafar relocated to the United States through Catholic charities, which relocated him to the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford.  Through a program for new arrivals conducted by the Hartford Public Library, Kafar was introduced to and welcomed by members of the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association (AHNA).  He was mentored by Dean Amadon, from the Asylum Hill Congregational Church. 

In the past few years, Kafar worked with Amadon and was referred to Capital Workforce Partners, where the training opportunity at Manchester Community College became an option.  In addition to the training, several individuals supported Kafar’s tuition and living costs, and upon graduation, he will be employed full time, enabling him to realize his dream of having his family brought together again.