KRA’s proprietary Knowledge2Career (K2C)) Academy offers Out-of-School Youth customized career-development services, including on-the-job training (OJT) linked directly to employment with companies in high-demand industries.
For Capital Workforce Partners, the North Central Connecticut WDB, KRA operates a K2C Academy, in partnership with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT). Targeting the Manufacturing Industry, Tooling U-SME provides coursework and certification, with hands-on instruction provided through OJT agreements with regional employers.
On March 17, 2020, KRA introduced a new K2C cohort, with 19 students—one of whom was Manuel Otero—who had passed qualifying Mechanical Aptitude Tests.
Tony Harrington, KRA Operations Manager, commented, “Manuel expressed concern about a ‘mountain of challenges [including] past legal troubles’ and, that in outreaching to several community organizations discovered that the KRA/K2C Career Services Team was just the solution for overcoming his employment barriers.”
March 17 was also the day that COVID-19 restrictions went into effect statewide, prohibiting in-person classroom instruction, leading KRA and CCAT to refocus their efforts on the best possible online-learning program, providing students, as necessary, with laptops to facilitate participation.
Harrington continued, “Manuel excelled with the remote-programming experience, and in July, earned an OJT assignment with Wepco Plastics as a Molding Machine Operator. Now, in November, he has completed his 240-hour training commitment, resulting in fulltime employment at $16.00 an hour, plus benefits commensurate with his position.
To date, K2C has placed 14 students in OJTs, 10 of whom are working fulltime in a variety of sectors within the industry. The support of our CCAT partner has been invaluable in facilitating such productive collaborations within the North Central Connecticut manufacturing community.”