Created on Friday, 02 May 2014 14:43
Written by Allison Ursitti   

MERIDEN — In an effort to fulfill promises made as part of the project labor agreements for construction at Platt and Maloney high schools, a local union is offering job opportunities to students at Wilcox Technical High School.

Ralph A. Inorio, business manager of Construction and General Laborers Local 455, said the idea came during a reunion with former high school classmate Cynthia Kisner, dean of students at Wilcox.

“I asked her if she would be open to the union reaching out to students,” Inorio said.

She was, and 15 Wilcox seniors filled out applications for the Construction Craft Labor Apprentice Program. It includes a four-week training course that will teach them skills needed on the Platt and Maloney job sites. After students complete the training, set to begin in July, they will be hired as apprentices on the school projects.

Inorio also extended the offer to recent Wilcox graduates, one of which passed the first round of interviews, he said.

“They’re more or less guaranteed a spot on the sites,” Inorio said.

The project labor agreements set a goal of having locals make up 30 percent of the work force on the Platt and Maloney projects.


The most recent reports available indicate that Meriden residents make up 16 percent of the work force at Maloney, and 22 percent at Platt.

“Building these schools is going to take at least another two to three years, and they’re going to need more Meriden residents, so what better way than to reach out to the technical school that’s right in the city?” Inorio said. “I have contractors basically waiting for these individuals coming out of this school this summer.”

Kisner said she was excited about the prospects of the apprenticeship program, especially for trade students competing for jobs.

“Nowadays, it’s tough even getting a job ... so this sort of thing is great,” Kisner said.

The students say their training at Wilcox has them prepared.

“We’re definitely ready,” said Taylor Cunningham, one of the students who applied for the apprenticeship.

“We’re always conscious of preparing them for the real world work environment,” said Wilcox principal Lisa Hylwa. “This is a great opportunity for the students to realize everything that this school has been getting them ready for.”

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