EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – With demand for their products increasing, Connecticut manufacturers are actively seeking out skilled workers to hire.
That’s why 38 companies from all over Connecticut brought their recruiting efforts to Goodwin College’s Manufacturing Career Fair. They met with skilled workers interested in new opportunities, Goodwin manufacturing students and people interested in a career change.
To illustrate the demand for workers, Adam Greenberg, executive vice president of Birken Manufacturing in Bloomfield, held out a sheaf of his company’s job postings. “We need 10 people [now], and soon we’ll need four more,” he said.
“This is our first time at a career fair,” said Brian P. Duda, vice president of DG Precision Manufacturing, whose Woodbury company needs 15 people with knowledge of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing.
Duda said this type of employee recruiting is essential: “It’s what will allow businesses to grow and thrive in Connecticut.”
Mick Murphy, production / logistics manager for Ward Leonard in Thomaston, concurred. “Being here is beneficial,” said Murphy, whose company has openings for quality inspectors and a computer numerical control machine operator. “The Goodwin students are very professional, and they ask good questions.”
The event was held at Goodwin’s newly-upgraded Business and Advanced Manufacturing Center, where the state-of-the-art machinery used in Goodwin’s training programs was on display.
“The young people are just fantastic today,” said Max McIntyre, VP industrial operations for Farmington-based New England Airfoil Products, which is growing its workforce. “We’ve hired 27 people this year, and we’re going to have more openings.”
In Connecticut, manufacturing career opportunities abound:
- Sikorsky will build 200 new King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters and 257 Black Hawk helicopters at its Stratford headquarters.
- Pratt & Whitney has orders for more than 8,000 of its new geared turbofan engines.
- Electric Boat is building two Virginia-class submarines a year at its Groton shipyard.
That news means the big companies will have lots of jobs to fill – and so will the hundreds of smaller manufacturers that supply them. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, manufacturers of every size are already hiring 6,000 people per quarter.
For example, Windsor-based Morris Group, employs about 100 people and is looking to double its workforce in the next three years, according to Reid Gibson, vice president of operations. “If I could hire 20 people today, I would,” Gibson said.
“Manufacturing in Connecticut is enjoying a renaissance, and that means lots of career opportunities,” said Clifford E. Thermer, Goodwin Assistant Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. “This career fair is just one of the many ways Goodwin is partnering with industry to develop our workforce.”
Brian Duda (left) and Shane Owens of Woodbury-based DG Precision Manufacturing meet with a prospective employee at the Goodwin College Manufacturing Career Fair.
Max McIntyre of Farmington-based New England Airfoil Products explains the skills needed to make his company’s products, some of which are displayed, at the Goodwin College Manufacturing Career Fair.