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When Jill Mayer graduated from high school in 1999, career options felt more limited than what she sees available to today’s 18-year-olds. There was a “stigma,” Mayer said, “that if you don’t get a college degree you’re not going to be able to make good money and have a long career.”
But she likes to think that’s changing. Mayer, 40, now runs her family’s Milford-based manufacturing business, Bead Industries, and she recently took the helm as president of industry group ManufactureCT. In both roles, she puts a lot of energy into cultivating the manufacturing sector’s next generation of workers and leaders.