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Skilled Trades Need Young Workers. A Look At Technical Education


Plumbers and electricians are essential workers with well-paying jobs.  And yet skilled trades face worker shortages and struggle to recruit young people.

This hour, we take a look at vocational education. We talk with a teacher and a student from one of Connecticut’s technical high schools.

And we ask a national expert: what can the Biden administration do to build up a new generation of tradespeople?

We want to hear from you. Do you work in a skilled trade?


  • Dave Arnott - Plumbing and Heating Department Head at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford, also heating curriculum chair for the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS)
  • Qahdir Muhammad - Senior at A.I. Prince Technical High School in the plumbing and heating track.
  • Brent Parton - Deputy Director of the Center on Education and Labor at New America, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C.
  • Todd Berch - Apprenticeship Manager for Connecticut Department of Labor

For adults looking to transition into a skilled trade, the Connecticut Department of Labor shares this information about how to navigate the apprenticeship process:

“A registered apprenticeship is an employer training program that consists of on the job training and education the companies apprentice must attend, usually night school classes.

Upon hire, an employer would enroll you in their apprenticeship program.

The Office of Apprenticeship does not place individuals seeking an apprenticeship with an employer.”

How to search for apprenticeship opportunities

  • On this website, click on “List of Sponsors”. Then, click on Go to the Apprenticeship Sponsor Report. This will open an excel spreadsheet sortable by town.

Information on the classes you would need to attend once hired and registered as an apprentice by your new employer is available here.

Employers looking for apprenticeship ratio relief can apply through this form.

Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.

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