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Business leaders discuss successes, challenges of growing the workforce

October 29, 2018
In The News

Groton — As director of workforce development for Electric Boat, Courtney Murphy has seen a 20 percent reduction in departures of first-year employees, just due to the Eastern CT Manufacturing Pipeline.

"When they come into Electric Boat and the first time they're given that job assignment, they have some confidence," she said. "They know how to do it safely."

The pipeline, which the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) launched in 2016, has placed 1,100 people in jobs since its inception, 82 percent at Electric Boat and the remainder at other area manufacturers.

"Seventy-eight percent of them never had a drop of manufacturing experience before they went into the program, and I think that tells us there's a lot of untapped talent out there," EWIB President John Beauregard said.

The next steps are working with area high school students, and piloting a model of the pipeline for the health care industry.

The manufacturing pipeline was a much-discussed topic at Groton Inn & Suites on Monday, when Congressman Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, moderated a panel on "Eastern CT's Growing Workforce," featuring Murphy, Beauregard, and Jean Lee, a vice president at Pfizer.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut hosted the business luncheon.

"The topic today is not just cheerleading; it's a reality that's out there in terms of a growing workforce," Courtney said.