HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined Board of Regents President Robert A. Kennedy at ribbon-cutting ceremonies held at Housatonic Community College (HCC) in Bridgeport, Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury, and Quinebaug Community College (QVCC) in Danielson, marking the opening of new Advanced Manufacturing Centers at each college.
The three new Advanced Manufacturing Centers were established as part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill considered by the legislature and signed by Governor Malloy last fall. The bill encouraged new job creation while developing and strengthening the state’s workforce competitiveness. Included in the bill was $17.8 million in state bond funding for the development of manufacturing programs at the three community colleges.
The colleges will also be responsible for providing measureable outcomes — which include students graduating from the manufacturing program and final job placement in the state’s manufacturing industry. The model for the new centers and certificate programs was the Manufacturing Technology Center at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield.
“Turning the corner on decades of economic decline means we have to prepare our students with the high-tech skills that Connecticut companies need to compete globally,” Governor Malloy said. “We must ensure that our workforce has the strongest possible foundation – that is how Connecticut will regain its competitiveness, create good-paying jobs with good benefits, and strengthen our economy.”
“These centers will provide the training and experience necessary for our students to fill the positions that exist in advanced manufacturing in our state,” said Kennedy. “Following the successful Asnuntuck model, these three new centers will serve more students from across our state and ensure that they are ready to compete in the 21st century global economy.”
The colleges recently unveiled a 34-credit Manufacturing Machine Technology certificate program with additional non-credit modules interspersed throughout the year long program. The program will prepare students for advanced manufacturing positions that include machine operator, Computer Numeric Control (CNC) operator, CNC programmer, assembler and Quality Control inspector. New equipment will enable students to gain experience operating both manual and CNC equipment. The year-long program — which requires a 35-hour-per-week commitment from students — will lead to a basic manufacturing certificate and an advanced manufacturing certificate. Students will spend approximately half their time in classroom activities and half in the manufacturing lab with hands-on projects.
At HCC, the center features a newly designed manufacturing lab space outfitted with both new and existing equipment. Input, support and guidance from area manufacturers continues to strengthen the new certificate programs at HCC.
“This ribbon-cutting is indeed a landmark moment for the college and the business community,” said HCC President Anita T. Gliniecki. “The Regional Advanced Manufacturing Center is coming online just as manufacturing activity in the region is picking up: The center will prepare students for well-paying jobs in a growing field while providing area manufacturers with the skilled workers they need to sustain their growth.”
Built on the region’s manufacturing roots and enhanced with modern advancement in technology and innovation, the Advanced Manufacturing Center, located in NVCC’s Technology Hall, will continue to feature manufacturing and technical education. Close collaborations with NVCC’s Job Placement Center and the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board will provide students with internships and industry partnerships producing highly skilled graduates ready to meet the challenges of 21st century product design, innovation and manufacture.
“Naugatuck Valley Community College is working in concert with industry partners to educate and train workers whose preparation for the workforce responds to the needs of manufacturers in Connecticut. We will be training students to enter the workforce for the first time as well as offering training to companies for their incumbent workers,” said NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis. “We are fortunate to have among our staff industry instructors and a coordinator from the manufacturing industry who have close ties to manufacturing companies in Connecticut. We celebrate the opportunity afforded our students by the creation of the NVCC Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. Optimism at NVCC and in the communities we serve is palpable.”
QVCC’s Manufacturing Technology Center will support enhanced manufacturing laboratories and equipment to address the growing need for a skilled manufacturing workforce. The college, which already has strong partnerships with area manufacturing firms, will have a positive impact on the region’s high unemployment and will provide opportunities for young people and working adults to obtain the skills needed to serve the state’s vital manufacturing sector. The program will run through a partnership with H.H. Ellis Technical High School in Danielson.
“The new Manufacturing Technology Centers in Connecticut are going to be a huge boost to all the manufacturers in this state and region. Manufacturing is growing in the state and the main roadblock for many of the companies is finding enough qualified workers to replace skilled workers who are retiring,” said QVCC President Ross Tomlin. “These programs will infuse a steady stream of graduates this spring ready to become part of the solution to this problem. They will allow manufacturing to continue to grow and prosper in Connecticut, improving our ability to be competitive in this field while at the same time providing excellent jobs to people that need them and want to be a positive part of our economic growth. Quinebaug Valley Community College is excited and proud to be part of this wonderful initiative.”