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5th Annual Apprenticeship Awareness Breakfast Slated for State Capitol
March 28 event honors innovative employment program

For immediate release
February 20, 2008

WETHERSFIELD - Legislative leaders, labor officials and community representatives from around the state will pay tribute to the state’s apprenticeship program – a truly unique Connecticut contribution to the workplace – during the fifth annual Apprenticeship Awareness Breakfast.


Sponsored by the Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council and the state’s apprenticeship community, the event will be held 8:30 to 10 a.m. March 28 in Room 310 of the State Capitol. 

“Our Apprenticeship Breakfast allows us to recognize this truly innovative program, as well as honor the late U.S. Congressman William Fitzgerald of Norwich, who is often referred to as the Father of Apprenticeship,” noted State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield.


A Connecticut native, Congressman Fitzgerald represented the 2nd District and sponsored the original legislation that led to the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. He also served as Deputy Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Labor and as Mayor of Norwich.


Apprenticeship is a nationally-recognized program that allows men and women to learn their chosen trade while on the job,” Mayfield points out. “Often referred to as ‘the other four-year degree,’ apprenticeship provides a successful combination of on-the-job training and classroom study. 


“The development of skilled craft workers is of vital importance to the continued economic growth of our state and nation,” Mayfield added. “This event is a way for us to spread the word and educate the public about the job opportunities apprenticeship offers, and the benefits it provides to our state.” 

Speakers at the program will include Commissioner Mayfield, as well as several apprentices who will share their experiences and the job opportunities it has provided to them. Also featured will be graduates of the federally-funded Job Corps education program who are currently taking part in the apprenticeship program.  


In addition, apprentices and their sponsoring organizations will be on hand to answer questions and provide additional information about available programs. Visitors can also check out a special photo exhibit on the upper concourse of the Legislative Office Building that will be on display March 17-28. The posters depict apprentices involved in their individual trades and the many programs that provide participants with opportunities to “earn while they learn” skills that are highly marketable in today’s economy.


According to Labor Department Apprenticeship Program Manager Jack Guerrera, the state’s apprenticeship system offers career opportunities in more than 400 trades, including carpentry, plumbing and masonry. The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training is responsible for registering apprentice programs that meet federal and state standards. "Apprenticeship has been a fixture in our state and on the national employment and training scene for more than 70 years and Connecticut residents can take pride in its success," he said. 

Nationwide, 80,000 industries and companies offer 395,000 registered apprenticeship opportunities. In Connecticut, more than 2,000 employers and labor/management committees employ approximately 5,500 apprentices in registered apprenticeship programs.  


Additional information about apprenticeship can be found on the agency’s Web site at, while those interested in attending the breakfast event can contact Jack Guerrera at 860-263-6087 or at

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens   (860) 263-6535

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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