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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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Sen. Osten Celebrates Installation of New High School Manufacturing Class Drill Press She Secured State Funding For

HEBRON – This morning, state Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) helped celebrate the installation of a new $5,500, 800-pound electronic drill press that she helped secure state funding for so students in RHAM High School’s Youth Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative class can have access to modern, safe manufacturing equipment as they prepare for jobs in Connecticut’s skilled manufacturing industry.

The Jet 20-inch electronic variable speed metalworking drill press was paid for in the biennial state budget that Sen. Osten helped write and which she voted for. Last year, Sen. Osten attended a career opportunity day for RHAM seniors enrolled in the YMPI program, and she asked RHAM instructors what new equipment they could use to make the program even more successful.

“I asked them what they needed and they said a drill press. It’s the type of modern equipment you’d see on shop floors in most Connecticut manufacturers these days, and it has more built-in safety equipment than older drill presses. We’ll be looking to get RHAM a lathe next. They have six lathes that are a half-century old, and which they can’t get replacement parts for anymore,” Sen. Osten said. “It’s just a drill press, but it’s also a job-creation tool, and we need to be doing more of this kind of investment right now all across Connecticut. Our students need to learn on modern machinery if they’re going to step right from high school on to the shop floor and fill some of the thousands and thousands of manufacturing job openings right here in Connecticut that businesses are offering right now.”

“The receipt of the drill press has been an enormous help in the Pipeline program here at RHAM High School,” said Samantha Schadtle, RHAM’s Career and Technical Education Department Coordinator and Manager of the YMPI program. “Previously, students were working on a drill press that was a few decades old. The machine was in need of maintenance daily, and that made it hard for students to perform learning tasks. With this new drill press, students are now able to use industry-grade machinery in order to practice manufacturing skills and tasks without interruption or compromising conditions. It’s a tremendous asset to our program and our students.”

RHAM’s YMPI class provides seniors who are interested in a career in manufacturing with the skills necessary to align them with the hiring needs of area manufacturers. The program is modeled after the highly successful and nationally recognized adult Manufacturing Pipeline program which has placed more than 1,000 people in jobs over the past two years.

The YMPI curriculum is designed by a collaboration of industry and college affiliates and is aimed at getting students access to a direct path from training to the workforce upon completion of approved pre-apprenticeship program hours by the state Department of Labor, a certificate of completion from the youth manufacturing pipeline initiative, and the skills to be ready for employment in the manufacturing industry.

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