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Kindness in Real Life: Event sparks interest in manufacturing careers

The Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance presented a welding workshop on April 30 that provided local Boy Scouts with hands-on welding skills that can lead to careers in the manufacturing field.

The workshop was held at member company Collins & Jewell in Bozrah for Scouts from ages 14-18 years. Participants were from Troop 16 (Ledyard), Troop 60 (Oakdale) and Troop 80 (Taftville). They learned about welding safety, equipment, processes and training and career opportunities available in this high demand field.

The Welding Merit Badge is one of the more difficult to earn and the scouts were enthusiastic about learning the basic techniques of the craft.

The instructors were employees of Collins & Jewell and also train adult welders at the Manufacturing Apprenticeship Center at Grasso Tech High in Groton.

Airgas & Lincoln Electric generously donated safety materials such as weld helmets, gloves and coats for the scouts to use during the activities and support was also provided by the American Welding Society.

In addition to donating space for the event, Collins & Jewell hosted a tour of their facility for the families of the attendees.

Chris Jewell, president of Collins & Jewell and the EAMA Board, was excited about hosting this first in the region event and indicated that an additional workshop will be offered in early 2023.

John Murphy, Executive Director of EAMA, provided information for scouts and their parents/guardians about regional training programs in welding and advanced manufacturing skills for high school and older students. EAMA works with its education and training partners to promote and improve manufacturing careers and the regional manufacturing workforce.

Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature. To contribute, email


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