May 13, 2014

BILL GRIFFIN AT 203-332-5056

400 Area High School Students Attend
HCC Manufacturing Expo

State-of-the Art Manufacturing on Display

THUMBS UP – That was the reaction of Juan Cardona, a student at Bridgeport’s Harding High School, to the recent Manufacturing Expo held at Housatonic Community College. The expo introduced students to the world of manufacturing and HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program, a one-year certificate program that prepares students for lucrative careers in the growing manufacturing field. The expo itself was “amazing,” said Cardona, one of more than 400 Central Connecticut high school students who attended the event, “It was 100 percent good.”

BRIDGEPORT – About 400 area high school students attended a manufacturing expo Friday, May 9, at Housatonic Community College.

The “Manufacture Your Future” expo, designed to introduce students to manufacturing as a career, featured 30 firms and equipment manufacturers exhibiting the latest in automated manufacturing equipment and processes. In addition, students were given a tour of HCC’s Regional Advanced Manufacturing Center, which offers an Advanced

Manufacturing credit certificate program and a variety of non-credit courses that can help incumbent workers hone their skills.

The expo drew rave reviews from students, educators and exhibitors alike. “It’s an amazing program,” said student Juan Cardona of Bridgeport’s Harding High School. “It’s 100 percent good!”

“It’s a great opportunity for students to get connections to a manufacturing career,” said teacher Marissa Barreto of Bridgeport’s Fairchild Wheeler Magnet School.

The one-year Advanced Manufacturing Program, which is accepting applications for the Fall semester, prepares students for manufacturing positions that include machine operator, CNC (Computer Numeric Control) operator, CNC programmer, assembler, and Quality Control inspector. These can pay in the $15-$20 per-hour range.

The program, which requires a 35-hour-per-week commitment from students, leads to an advanced manufacturing certificate. The program is financial-aid eligible.

The manufacturing certificate includes courses in Computer-aided Design (CAD); blueprint reading; drill, press and saw operation; grinding; bench work; lathe operation; milling; and CNC. While providing the foundation to pursue the advanced manufacturing certificate, the basic certificate will also include training in math for manufacturing, lean manufacturing, metrology, computer applications, and careers in manufacturing.

The program also includes advanced courses in manufacturing math and blueprint reading; principles of quality control; and advanced manufacturing machinery courses in lathe operation, milling, and CNC.

Exhibitors at the expo remarked that the students, who came from high schools in Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, Norwalk, Oxford, Monroe, Fairfield, and Shelton, demonstrated a deep interest in manufacturing as a career.

“I was impressed with the quality of the questions and the attentiveness of the students,” said David Williams of Wallingford’s Holo-Krome. “It was the best student show I have attended.”