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Esty Visit To Danbury's Abbott Tech Spotlights Job-Training Program

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty and Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu look on as Abbott Tech sophomore Philip LoPiano works in the manufacturing lab at the Danbury technical high school.
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty and Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu look on as Abbott Tech sophomore Philip LoPiano works in the manufacturing lab at the Danbury technical high school. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — A new manufacturing partnership between Naugatuck Valley Community College’s Danbury campus and Henry Abbott Technical High School will train students and workers with the skills needed to find work in the local economy, said U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5th District).

On Tuesday, March 10, Esty hosted Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu for a tour and roundtable discussion at Abbott Tech. Starting this month and made possible through a $1.7 million Department of Labor grant, the new Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Partnership will train students and workers in manufacturing skills.

The program will run at night at Abbott Tech and will be open to students of all ages. Naugatuck Valley is hosting a similar program at Kaynor Tech in Waterbury starting in April 2015. The college’s existing Advanced Manufacturing Programs boasts a 90 percent job placement rate in manufacturing careers for its graduates.

During the tour, Esty and Lu met with students, faculty, labor leaders, local manufacturers, and local business leaders to talk about the partnership and new workforce development efforts in Danbury and Waterbury.

“I’m proud to help highlight the incredible partnerships in our community between our community colleges and our excellent technical high schools. Connecticut is home to 5,000 manufacturers. There are good-paying manufacturing jobs in demand, but manufacturers often struggle to find workers with the right skill sets," Esty said.

"This partnership will allow Naugatuck Valley Community College to use Abbott Tech’s incredible facilities at night to train and re-train workers. I am committed to continuing to advocate in Congress for support and funding for these effective job-training programs.”

Lu praised the program.

“Connecticut is really on the cutting edge and serves as a great opportunity for what we should be doing to support manufacturing jobs,” said Lu. “The new manufacturing partnership between Naugatuck Valley Community College and Abbott Tech and Kaynor Tech, funded in part by a U.S. Department of Labor grant, will really help close Connecticut's training gap and ensure workers have the skills they need throughout their life.

"We need more companies involved, and more state and federal money supporting manufacturing programs like this one, because it's the way America is going to grow in the 21st century."

The event was part of Esty’s “STEM Education Week” this week, highlighting innovative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives throughout central and northwest Connecticut.

Esty has made supporting STEM education a priority in Congress. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Esty’s bipartisan STEM Education Act, H.R.1020, which she introduced with U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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