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What is the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame?
The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame is the sole Manufacturing Hall of Fame in the United States which celebrates the manufacturing process, the manufacturer as an innovator and the manufacturer as a force for positive change in the community without having a focus on a specific process or product.

What is your mission?
The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame’s mission is to raise awareness of the positive aspects and solid economic sense Advanced Manufacturing brings to U.S. communities, and to raise funding for manufacturing students and programs to create American jobs.

Where is the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame located and why?
The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame will be initially located in Bridgeport, CT at Housatonic Community College. Bridgeport was a hub of manufacturing leadership in America for over a century. The Advanced Manufacturing Center at Housatonic Community College is training the next generation of precision skilled American employees to support the dynamic growth in the new American economy.

Specifically, what does the Hall of Fame do?
The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame creates a positive environment where individuals and companies can celebrate the success of American manufacturers; acknowledge the manufacturers’ innovation and commitment to their communities and work to create American manufacturing jobs through scholarships and college course creation.

When did the Hall of Fame start?
The Hall of Fame had its first induction ceremony at Housatonic Community College on Tuesday, October 7, 2014.  Over 240 manufacturers, educators, manufacturing students and other community partners watched a moving ceremony with special customized videos for each of the inductees.  Inducted were Bridgeport Machines, Bullard Machine Tool, Hubbell, Inc., Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and Warner’s, all in the “Pre-1946” era.  Videos of the evening can be seen here: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFwvV52CyLI6BpgBpj13r0g

Was the event a success? 
The inaugural event was a great success.  $62,500 was raised for students’ scholarships, books and for improvements to the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Housatonic Community College.  Most importantly, manufacturers and our community partners saw that we are serious and steadfast in our mission and are a worthy organization to support.

How many students can be enrolled in the Advanced Manufacturing Program?
Up to 50 students can be enrolled in the 2014-2015 certificate program.  If they complete the program in the spring they will have earned 34 college credits towards an Associate’s Degree or 4-year degree.  This year’s class has more women enrolled than the first two.  In January 2015 HCC announced three new non-credit manufacturing courses for employees in the manufacturing field.  The three new courses are CNC Programing and Set-up, Solidworks and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance.  The courses run from 6 to 8 weeks in length and cost between $599 and $899, depending on the course.

Will the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame just be local to Connecticut? 
The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame will be located in Bridgeport, CT, which was one of the American capitals of manufacturing for many years in the 19th and 20th centuries, but will celebrate manufacturers from around the United States.  In 2015 the greater New Haven area was added and will induct new members to the Hall.

Is the organization that runs this profit or non-profit?
The organization that will launch and initially run the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame is the Housatonic Community College Foundation, which is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

How is the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame funded?
The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame is funded with donations from public companies, private enterprise and private citizens.  While donations can be restricted for only program use, non-restricted funds are needed because the induction MUST be self-funded, per Foundation rules.

Popular opinion says that manufacturing is dead in this country, why do this now?
While unskilled manufacturing jobs continue to decline in the United States, precision manufacturing is growing again in volume and importance as part of the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP.)  Manufacturing has changed dramatically with the advent of technological solutions that require computer-controlled processes and decreased the need for unskilled labor.  The growth in varied energy sources and the lower costs of all energy also make manufacturing in the US more of a viable option than moving it overseas.  Smaller, cleaner, more modern manufacturing environments are the norm and there is a huge need for skilled labor in manufacturing.  The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame provides additional private financial resources to be used for the training of a new pool of skilled labor through the creation of college-based certificate programs and scholarships to allow students to attend these programs of study.

How often do you have inductions and when are they?
The inductions to the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame are held each October, which is National Manufacturing Month.

What are the criteria for induction?
Any company engaged in manufacturing for at least ten years can be considered for induction.  Each year the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame steering committee chooses an area of the country to be considered. 

Who picks the nominees and how are they picked?
The steering committee oversees the selection of a non-partial nominating committee, research committee and selection committee.  In 2014 and 2015 the steering committee also served as the nominating committee for the greater Bridgeport area.  In 2015 manufacturing history experts from the New Haven area formed the research and selection committees to choose the inductees from the New Haven area.

Do the companies still have to be in business to be nominated?
No, the companies do not have to still be in business to be nominated for induction.

Can a company be inducted more than once, like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Yes, companies can be inducted in more than one era or for more than one technological or community achievement.  It is up to the selection committee to decide if the company will be honored more than once.

Are there other awards?
The goal is to give a number of other awards each year, including awards for innovation and philanthropy.  The awards are not specific to any type of manufacturing or product and are given only to current manufacturers.  In 2014 the only award given was the AMHoF Leadership Award which was presented to former HCC President Anita Gliniecki for being so influential in advocating for the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Center at the college so students can be educated in precision manufacturing techniques and step into waiting manufacturing jobs.  Award categories will be announced in April 2015.

What will the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame look like?
Initially, the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame will be represented by a custom award that visibly echoes what each company was known for.  These awards are hand and machine crafted by precision manufacturing students.  The awards will be displayed on the campus of the Housatonic Community College.   Similar one-off hand-crafted awards are presented to each company and to the family members of the company’s owners, when available.  It is hoped that in the future, funding will be secured to create a free-standing, self-supporting facility dedicated to celebrating the history of and supporting the future of American Manufacturing.

Will there be a museum like the Baseball Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
The hope is that between years 5 and 10 enough donations can be obtained to make a physical museum possible in the greater Bridgeport, CT area. 

Who is currently on the steering committee and how are they chosen?
The current steering committee is comprised of greater Bridgeport residents that have embraced the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame mission and believe that American manufacturing is part of the fabric and community spirit of the American people.  A list of current members is available by contacting Carla Mackintoshin the HCC Foundation-Institutional Advancement Dept. Housatonic Community College by e-mail at cmackintosh@housatonic.edu or by phone at 203-332-5038.

Who is on the selection committee that chooses the inductees and how are they chosen?
The selection committee is nominated by the steering committee.  Self-nominations are accepted.  The selection committee is completely separate from all other committees so there cannot be undue influence in the final selections.  Nomination forms are available by contacting Rich DuPont.
How can I get my company to be nominated for induction?
Contact Lisa Vane*during regular business hours and request an induction nomination form and nomination guidelines.  All nominations receive consideration. Nominations are open for 2015 until February 28, 2015.

How can I get my company nominated for a non-induction award?
Contact Lisa Vane* during regular business hours and request an award nomination form for a specific award with nomination and selection guidelines.  All nominations that meet the guidelines will be considered.  Every year categories are announced in April and nominations are closed on June 30th.

Does my company need to give you a donation to be nominated or inducted or to be considered for another award?
There is no application fee, donation required, or any other sort of monetary compensation needed to be considered for the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame or another award.

Can I “buy” an award like I have heard other organizations do?
Any donation given by an individual or a company to the Hall of Fame is completely separate from the selection process for induction or for an award.  The members of the research and selection committees are not privy to who has donated to the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame either in that given year or whom may be considering donating in the future.

How can I or my company donate or become a sponsor?
There is a separate sponsorship form that is available by contacting Rich DuPont during regular business hours.

How can I or others in my company volunteer to help out for the events?
Please contact Ken Lisk at klisk@PEPLacey.com or Dan Wisneski at dan@ideaengineusa.com if you would like to volunteer your time on one of the committees or at one of our events.

Are you looking for old photos or documents or items pertaining to the history of local manufacturing?
We are looking for any and all items related to local manufacturing, particularly for the companies being inducted this year.  If you have any items you would like to either donate or loan to us please contact Ken Lisk at klisk@PEPLacey.com or Dan Wisneski at dan@ideaengineusa.com.

I am interested in learning more about the Advanced Manufacturing Center at HCC.  Where can I get more information??
Please contact Rich Dupont at rdupont@housatonic.edu or Kim Wood at kwood@housatonic.edu for more information about the Center or to request a tour.

For all other questions please contact Ken Lisk at klisk@PEPLacey.com or Dan Wisneski at dan@ideaengineusa.com  to obtain more information.