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Community College Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center opens at WCSU

The new Connecticut State Community College Naugatuck Valley Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center located at Western Connecticut State University opened yesterday.  The program, founded in 2015, will now include both an evening and daytime program.  The evening program accommodates the Linde Inc, Skills Pipeline workforce development scholarship students.

The new facility will enroll up to 24 students in the two-semester certificate program that prepares individuals for hands-on positions in the manufacturing sector. Students earn a total of 31 credits, which can be applied to engineering technology or technology studies associate degree programs.

The first cohort of 12 students will graduate from the evening program in May 2022. These students began the program in August 2021 in a space provided by Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury and moved into the new facility in January. As the program grows, 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 National Institute for Metal Working Skills nationally recognized credential in two semesters.

Currently, 21 greater Danbury-based manufacturing companies are partnering with Naugatuck Valley’s Danbury and Waterbury Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center programs, where students are placed in internships. Approximately 95% of graduates are placed in full-time jobs with the potential average starting salary for a machine operator ranging between $18 to $22 an hour. The program also opens doors to higher paying positions within these companies, and promotions for incumbent workers after earning credentials.

“Advanced manufacturing is a major component 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 flourish,” Governor Lamont said. “Making sure we have a workforce prepared to meet the needs of 21st century employers is a top priority for my administration. Connecticut’s strong network of higher education institutions provides a great, cost-effective way for those who live here to obtain the skills that can lead to a rewarding career. This new advanced manufacturing technology center in Danbury will be uniquely positioned to contribute to our workforce pipeline.”

NVCC is working toward establishing a College Connections program during the day for interested high school students from Danbury, Brookfield, Bethel, and New Milford. According to NVCC CEO, Lisa Dresdner, Ph.D., “this program will offer an 11-credit certificate to area high school students and will not only create a college pathway to the College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology certificate program, but it will also prepare high school students to enter the manufacturing workforce. We’re very excited about what this means for the economy and industry in that part of the state!”