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Fifth Annual Apprenticeship Breakfast Set for March 28 at State Capitol

For immediate release
March 25, 2008

WETHERSFIELD – Continuing its annual tradition, the Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council and the state’s apprenticeship community is sponsoring its fifth Apprenticeship Awareness Breakfast on Friday, March 28 in Hartford at the State Capitol. 

Paying tribute to working tradesmen and women in this state – past, present and future – this year’s event highlights the benefits of Connecticut’s apprenticeship program. The morning program, to be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in Room 310, will feature a unique partnership with Job Corps graduates. 

”Legislative leaders, labor officials, community representatives and those working with the apprenticeship community are invited to join us at the breakfast to honor this truly innovative program,” explains State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield. “Often called The Other Four-Year Degree, the 71-year old Apprenticeship program allows men and women to learn their chosen trade while on the job, earn a paycheck, and offers career opportunities in more than 400 trades, including carpentry, plumbing and masonry.” 

In conjunction with the breakfast, an apprenticeship outreach event including exhibits and educational materials about the various training programs will be set up in the Legislative Office Building’s lower concourse. A photo exhibit about apprenticeship opportunities is currently on display at the Capitol and is part of the March 28 event. 

Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Linda L. Agnew will welcome attendees to the breakfast, while remarks will focus on students who have entered Connecticut’s apprenticeship program after graduating from the Job Corps program.  The Apprenticeship program is a natural linkage for Job Corps students to continue with a tried and true program education and training through Connecticut’s apprenticeship program. 

The federally funded Job Corps program is open to students between the ages of 16 and 24. Connecticut has Job Corps campuses in Hartford and New Haven. Graduates, who either continue their education or begin their careers in a trade, often are well qualified to meet the entry requirements of an apprenticeship program.

Labor Department Program Manager Janice Hasenjager, who works with Job Corps Center students and teachers, will describe the many success stories at the schools, while Noel Heigl, a student in the New Haven Job Corps Advanced Baking & Pastry program, will sing the Star Spangled Banner. Also addressing attendees will be Luis Aponte and Angel M. Vazquez, Jr., fourth year glazier apprentices with the Finishing Trades Institute of Southern New England. The men, who are both Job Corp graduates, will detail their experiences as apprentices as well as the financial and career benefits it has provided to them and their families. 

“While our breakfast allows to recognize the advantages of entering an apprenticeship program, it also provides us with the opportunity to spotlight the contribution of a true Connecticut statesman – the late U.S. Congressman William Fitzgerald -- who is often referred to as the Father of Apprenticeship,” Mayfield said. “A Norwich native, Representative 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.”

Fitzgerald also served as Deputy Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Labor and as Mayor of Norwich.

Information about Connecticut’s Apprenticeship Program can be found on the agency’s Web site at, while those interested in attending the breakfast can contact Jack Guerrera, Apprenticeship Program Manager, 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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