Career readiness

Program for young adults set to open in Milford

My Turn, hoping to prepare 10 young adults for skilled manufacturing careers, has partnered with Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. in Milford.

“We’re actually recruiting right now; as soon as we get 10 people, we’ll start,” said Allison Joseph, executive director of My Turn in New Hampshire.

My Turn provides career readiness skills, paid internships and support toward further college education or a full-time career for teens and young adults. The agency also has case managers and job coaches to help support participants.

The work training program is geared toward local adults ages 18-24, Joseph said.

“We will be recruiting from the Greater Nashua and Greater Milford areas, cohorts of 10 each,” she said.

The groups will be split in two, and swap positions between classroom and hands-on learning.

“In the morning, five will be in the classroom with soft skills, and math and reading training relevant to the job,” Joseph said, noting they plan to use Hitchiner training material, “In the afternoon, they will be in training cells to do hands-on learning.”

Hitchiner, the largest employer in Milford, recently announced plans to expand that location by 31,000 square feet. There will be two additions: 29,000 square feet of manufacturing space and offices and a 2,250-square-foot mechanical room.

In Milford, there are about 335 employees who work over three shifts.

My Turn has been working with local manufacturers in Greater Nashua for three years, pairing young adults with manufacturing jobs in critical need of skilled labor. My Turn has connected youths with companies such as BAE, Rapid Manufacturing and Macom.

“Of these companies, the average wage is $16 per hour,” Joseph said of the My Turn hires, adding that local manufacturers have nine My Turn alumni currently employed.

“We have had about 30 students go through that have completed the program,” she said.

Joseph said some have moved on to other industries, and others are finishing college, with the majority enrolled at Nashua Community College.

She said the success of the Nashua program prompted the development of the new initiative with Hitchiner.

“There’s a push to collaborate between businesses and new employees with the manufacturing economy, and Hitchiner is a part of that initiative,” Joseph said.

Support for the program came from the Federal Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, she said.

“We have a third partner in Nashua Community College,” Joseph said. “They will be sending an instructor to campus, so all the participants will learn a credential in ‘lean manufacturing.’ “

Anyone interested in joining the program with Hitchiner can call manufacturing training coordinator Laurilee Hurley at 718-9232.

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-1246, tforbes@nashuatelegraph.com or

@Telegraph_ TinaF.