Company looking to get more millennials working in manufacturing

STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. (WTNH)– Twenty-seven-year-old Mike Catalina knows working in manufacturing isn’t the typical target of his fellow millennials.

He thinks they could be missing out.

“There’s definitely plenty of opportunity,” said Catalina.

Willington Nameplate in Stafford Springs is trying to draw more young people like Mike in to take advantage of new opportunities in manufacturing.

“I think that’s part of the culture change of getting away from the Gen-x parents that kind of took away that manufacturing was a good career choice. Now you are seeing more of that through the school system,  through state programs in Connecticut trying to rejuvenate that hey, not only is manufacturing vibrant but within the state of Connecticut is vibrant as well,” said Brett Greene, President of Willington Nameplate.

Building things is being built up again and Connecticut has a chance to build on that momentum.

“Look at it one way….the west coast is really owning creation of new technologies but the east coast can really own the reinvention of what it means to make things again,” said Brent Robertson, Partner at Fathom.

Embracing new and cutting edge technologies that are reshaping the manufacturing game.

“This is an expensive piece of technology when they see something like this…when they see something like this they have the opportunity to learn on it,” said Catalina.

With it, Willington Nameplate is hoping to draw in a vibrant workforce.

“We’re involving them with more things and more creative things, innovative programs, green programs,  things that they are very passionate about,” said Greene.

Employees who are invested in the product they produce.

“When you have a generation of folks who want more meaning in what they are doing, they want to see a connection between what they do and the difference it makes in the world,” said Robertson.

It’s not a bustling city with a walkable commute.

“We’re certainly not getting the city folks out here. But we have people that commute up to 45 minutes to come to a job here because they enjoy what they are doing, they are passionate about being on a team and that’s the atmosphere we are trying to create here,” said Greene.

Basically trying to offer a job that people like going to.

“If you like what you do and it makes you happy you stick to it – you make a career out of it,” said Catalina.