BRIDGEPORT – Housatonic Community College will formally open its new Regional Advanced Manufacturing Center Wednesday, October 3, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will headline a list of speakers that includes Board of Regents President Robert A. Kennedy; HCC President Anita T. Gliniecki; State Rep. Andres Ayala (D-128th Dist.); Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch; Kathy Saint, president of the Bridgeport-based Schwerdtle Stamp Company; and Advanced Manufacturing Program Student Jacob Hudson.
“This ribbon-cutting is indeed a landmark moment for the college and the business community,” said 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.”
The Center, which is funded in part through a $17.8 million grant for three such centers in the state, will feature an advanced manufacturing laboratory and engineering design studio to support the college’s credit and non-credit manufacturing courses. It will serve students in a 43-town area that extends from the New York State line to the Connecticut River and north to the Middletown, Meriden and Danbury areas.
The center’s first offering is a two-certificate Advanced Manufacturing Program that will prepare students for manufacturing positions that include machine operator, CNC (Computer Numeric Control) operator, CNC programmer, assembler, and Quality Control inspector that can pay in the $15-$20 per-hour range. Jobs will be awaiting the students when they graduate.
“Manufacturing in the area and the nation is leading economic growth,” explained Bill Griffin, HCC’s academic coordinator, who spearheaded the drive for the center and the program. “Through the application of state-of-the-art technology, manufacturers are more competitive, but they need to hire more workers with advanced manufacturing skills. HCC’s new manufacturing program is designed to meet this industry need.”
The year-long program, which requires a 35-hour-per-week commitment from students, will lead to two certificates, a basic manufacturing certificate and an advanced manufacturing certificate. Both certificate tracks are financial-aid eligible.
The 16-credit basic manufacturing certificate courses will be offered during the Fall semester while the 18-credit advanced manufacturing courses will be offered in the Spring. One block of fall classes is already underway, while a second begins October 1.
The ribbon cutting program will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the C-Wing Atrium in Lafayette Hall, which is adjacent to the center. Refreshments and tour of the center will follow.
The public is invited to attend. For more information about the manufacturing program, contact Academic Coordinator Bill Griffin at 203-332-5056.
HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, a block from the Harbor Yard sports complex. Free parking is available in the Housatonic garage.