On Tackling Training


To replace formerly state-funded training for skilled manufacturing workers, Connecticut Spring & Stamping (CSS) developed its own in-house apprenticeship program. The program is designed to train enough skilled workers to meet its capacity and continue company growth, which is approximately 20 to 30 percent per year over year.

The manufacturer of precision parts for the medical, aerospace, firearms and defense is currently training a group of 11 people in the skill sets required for tool and die makers. For example, the program includes specific tracks for CNC production setup, press and fourslide diemakers, stamping press setup operators, fourslide setup operators and heat set setup operators.

“Well-paid manufacturing jobs requiring manual skills are out there, and as the skilled workforce ages, it is becoming more and more difficult to fill critical positions with trained employees,” says Kathy Bellemare, director of human resources at CSS. “What training exists has a near-exclusive focus on non-manufacturing skills. While we are extremely proud of the program we have developed, we still hold out hope that technical institutions and local community colleges will step up to fill the void by establishing training programs and internships to meet the needs of manufacturers.”

The apprenticeship program is funded using grants such as the Connecticut Department of Labor’s 21st Century Skills Training Program and the Advance Training Grant Program.

See how other shops are developing skilled employees internally by visiting our Training & Personnel Zone. On a related note, we have a wealth of information and videos available in our Next Generation Zone.