Governor Lamont Launches Community College Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at Western Connecticut State University
(DANBURY, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today joined Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Terrence Cheng, campus leaders, students and makers in a ceremony to launch of the new Connecticut State Community College (CT State) Naugatuck Valley Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU).
The new facility will accommodate up to 24 students in the two-semester certificate program that prepares individuals for hands-on positions in manufacturing. Students earn a total of 31 credits, which can be applied to associate degree programs in engineering technology or technology studies.
“Advanced manufacturing is a major part of Connecticut’s economic future, and by supporting the growth of this sector, we are sending a signal to these cutting-edge companies that this is the place to be if they want to grow. and prosper”, Governor Lamont said. “Ensuring we have a workforce ready to meet the needs of the 21st employers of the century is a top priority for my administration. Connecticut’s strong network of institutions of higher education provides a great, cost-effective way for those who live here to learn the skills that can lead to rewarding careers. This new advanced manufacturing technology center in Danbury will be uniquely positioned to contribute to our workforce pipeline.
The new facility includes approximately 3,000 square feet of space in an existing WCSU warehouse that has been converted into a state-of-the-art manufacturing shop and classroom with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The multi-year, $2.4 million project was funded by government bond funds.
The first cohort of 12 students will graduate from the evening program in May 2022. These students began the program in August 2021 in space provided by Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury and moved into the new facilities in January. As the program expands, day and weekend cohorts are planned for a potential of up to 72 graduates per year. Each student can earn an OSHA 10 certificate and a nationally recognized credential from the National Institute for Metal Working Skills in two semesters.
Currently, 21 major Danbury-based manufacturing companies partner with Naugatuck Valley’s Danbury and Waterbury Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center programs, where students are placed for internships. About 95% of graduates work full-time jobs, with the average potential starting salary for a machine operator being between $18 and $22 per hour. The program also opens doors to higher-paying positions within these companies and promotions for incumbent workers after earning their credentials.
“With more than 6,000 manufacturing openings currently available in the state, this new center for advanced manufacturing technology will help expand educational and economic opportunities for our students with good jobs and rewarding careers, while providing a highly skilled and skilled workforce to manufacturers in our state.”, President Cheng said. “Today is about partnership and system. It’s about working together to meet the needs of the communities and the state we serve. I thank everyone who worked together to make this important launch possible. »
“The partnership between Western Connecticut State University and CT State’s Naugatuck Valley Campus is a wonderful demonstration of how our students — and our communities statewide — can benefit when the resources of the CSCU system are fully utilized.” , WCSU President John B. Clark said. “We are very proud to house the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing Technology on our Midtown campus and welcome students learning here. As our CSCU system progresses under the leadership of Governor Lamont and the leadership of President Cheng, we plan further workforce development projects that will allow us to improve student life and build the Connecticut’s future.
“Students who enroll in Naugatuck Valley Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing program are eager to learn the skills that will allow them to find good, satisfying jobs, contribute to our communities, and continue to grow with the manufacturing industry” , Naugatuck Valley Campus CEO Lisa Dresdner said. “We are thrilled that our partnership with Western Connecticut State University allows us to provide our students with such an incredible facility to achieve their goals, and we are grateful for the state’s support of this partnership and Linde’s commitment to give back to the community that supports our Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center students through scholarships.
“The expansion of the Naugatuck Valley Advanced Manufacturing Program, located on the WCSU campus in Danbury, demonstrates the State of Connecticut’s recognition that programs like this are essential in promoting manufacturing jobs as pathways stimulating and rewarding career paths and professional retraining opportunities”, Marcy Macdonald, Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Secretary of Memry Corporation, said. “Developing a manufacturing workforce to support high-tech jobs in the greater Danbury area will help companies like Memry Corporation achieve our growth goals and our commitment to the state for the future.”
Those interested in learning more about Connecticut’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers should visit ct.edu/makeithere.