SOUTHINGTON, CONN. — Jack M. Guerrera refers to the state of Connecticut's registered apprenticeship program as ``our best kept secret.''
He'd like that to change.
Guerrera, the apprenticeship program manager for the state's Department of Labor, was on hand at Plasti/Conn 98, held Oct. 29 in Southington, to discuss the program's accomplishments and potential for the plastics industry.
The state has nearly 13,000 apprentices and about 3,000 employers, including 100 apprentices in plastics trades and 30-40 companies.
He said apprenticeships are offered in four plastics areas — mold making, injection molding, plastic technician and model maker.
Mold-making apprentices, for example, go through a four-year program in which participants receive on-the-job training.
Companies that participate gain a tax credit of as much as $4,800 per apprentice per year; but more than that, they gain a trained worker.
``We don't push anyone on a company,'' Guerrera said, ``but many times they want to keep the worker.''