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W.F. Kaynor Technical High School first in Connecticut to earn NIMS Accreditation

From left: Ceferino Lugo, Assistant Superintendent, State of Connecticut Department of Education; Connecticut State Senator Joan Hartley; Stephen Mandes, NIMS Executive Director; Robert Axon, Principal, W.F. Kaynor Technical High School

W.F. Kaynor Technical High School has become the first high school in the State of Connecticut to achieve accreditation of its Advanced Manufacturing Technology program by NIMS. 

Kaynor’s program is a unique “joint venture” formed by the technical high school and local manufacturers to increase the supply of highly skilled workers in the local area. Seen as a “Top Gun” school for machinists, the program seeks to provide the top Kaynor students with an opportunity to work on state-of-the-art metalworking equipment in a collegiate setting to achieve NIMS credentials that certify their skills.

Not only does this program provide a new supply of highly skilled workers in our area, it lets all prospective employers know exactly what level of skill the new workers have achieved relative to the new rigorous standards nationwide.

“It used to take several years before we could tell if a new apprentice was going to make the grade or not,” said Tim Richards of PalmGuitar, former Project Coordinator of the program. “Now, with their skills both documented and certified by NIMS, there is incredible competition among local companies to hire the best of the best from this program.”  

The Kaynor program is guided by a Governing Board made up of industry and educators.  The Board is co-chaired Jack Traver, Jr., President of Traver IDC located in Waterbury and Robert Axon, Principal of W.F. Kaynor Technical High School. 

Mr. Axon commented that “Kaynor’s long standing partnership with the region’s manufacturers is a key component to Kaynor’s success in this area.”  Jack Traver, Jr. noted that “receiving the NIMS program accreditation is a prestigious honor and represents industry’s mark of approval and recognition of the training program offered through Kaynor.” 

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) Program was designed, in 2000, to attract the excelling 11th and 12th grade manufacturing technology students from W.F. Kaynor Regional Technical High School to participate in a cooperative educational program between Kaynor and the Naugatuck Valley Community College to teach advanced skills specific to the manufacturing trade. In 2007, the program received NIMS accreditation following a rigorous examination.

At the outset of this program, the AMT program received funding from the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Community Foundation (formerly the Waterbury Foundation).  Furthermore, it received in-kind contributions from the State’s Technical High School System, the Naugatuck Valley Community College and the Waterbury Regional Chamber.  The Connecticut Business and Industry Association was also a key partner in the formation of the program.  Currently, the program receives in-kind support from the State’s Technical High School System, the Naugatuck Valley Community College and the Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT, Inc.  The SMA currently provides financial assistance in regards to NIMS accreditation and credentialing.