Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



November 30, 2018

Osten Backs RHAM High School Youth Manufacturing Pipeline Class

photo of Senator Osten.

State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) joined today’s kick-off of a new program at RHAM High School that, beginning this spring, will take 13 seniors who are interested in manufacturing and place them in a program that will teach them the skills necessary to get hired by area employers.

After teaming-up with the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), Three Rivers Community College, and the state Department of Labor, RHAM High School will pilot the Youth Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative Program (YMPI) next semester.

“This program helps students earn a living wage while achieving the American dream of owning a home, raising a family, and staying here in Connecticut,” said Sen. Osten, who first suggested that EWIB reach out to RHAM to offer the program to its students.

“Connecticut is truly on the cusp of turning around its job numbers. In the Norwich-New London area we are actually below the national unemployment average; five years ago we had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Now, over the next decade, we’re going to need 30,000 new workers in Connecticut,” Sen. Osten said.

The Eastern CT Manufacturing Pipeline program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Labor and EWIB. It provides a no-cost, direct path from training to a job upon completion of a certificate program and a certain number of apprenticeship hours.

“There’s a lot of kids who graduate high school but don’t want to go on to college. They need opportunities,” said Mark Hill, Chief Operating Officer of EWIB. “I took Senator Osten’s advice to go see the people at RHAM. I think we have a great opportunity here.”

Hill said over the past four years, EWIB has a 92 percent job placement rate for people who complete the Manufacturing Pipeline Program, and that 78 percent of those had no experience in manufacturing prior to being trained.

Hill said EWIB is now in negotiations with a dozen other technical schools and community colleges about extending the program on to their campuses.

“When we moved into this building we were committed to manufacturing. We have a lot of students who are hands-on learners,” RHAM Principal Scott Leslie said. “Now we have 13 students who we can say, if you complete this program, you may be in a position to get a highly lucrative job.”