September 2021 marked the start of the 10th year for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC). This was a proud milestone for the nationally recognized Advanced Manufacturing Technology program. A decade of producing Advanced Manufacturing Technology program graduates to fill the skills pipeline for area manufacturing companies continues. This successful workforce development program has put hundreds of graduates to work in well-paying manufacturing jobs across the region. Currently, the AMTC boasts a 95% percent job-placement rate throughout the Greater Waterbury, Danbury, and northwest corridor of the state, with an average starting salary between $17.50 and $22 per hour.
The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) at NVCC continues to add industry partners.
The partnership between academia and industry is crucial to the continued success of the AMTC program. Area manufacturing companies and the AMTC collaborate to place graduates in full-time manufacturing positions and provide paid internships for students. Manufacturing companies that partner with the program do not need an employment agency to fill their skilled positions; they simply make a call or send an e-mail to the Advanced Manufacturing Job Placement Coordinator. These manufacturers also become part of a database of participating internship companies who may hire AMTC students when internships are available.
To date, NVCC partners with more than 230 companies in both the Waterbury and greater Danbury regions of the state. Several manufacturing companies from the Westchester and Duchess Counties in New York state have also participated in this partnership with the College. Most recently the NVCC AMTC has added New York state manufacturer, Hybrid Electrostatics Systems, LLC in Hopewell Junction, NY. The plan is to grow the number of companies across the border in New York state to partner with the Danbury AMTC program for recruitment of students for the training program as well as for internships and placement of graduates.
NVCC’s industry partnerships continue to benefit students and area manufacturers. For example, Linde Inc., with corporate offices in Danbury, expanded its Skills Pipeline workforce development program to the greater Danbury region of the state in 2019. This program continues with its third cohort this year.
The NVCC/AMTC Linde (Praxair) Academy continues to attract students to its advanced manufacturing Skills Pipeline workforce development scholarship program. Financial support from Linde has made it possible to offer full scholarships to a cohort of high school graduates and other interested individuals each year since 2019. Fall 2021 marks the third year of the Linde Skills Pipeline workforce development program; 15 students have been selected to receive the Linde scholarship for this academic year. Students who graduate have been able to find new employment or get promotions before they complete the program
CEO’s Incentive Award - NVCC celebrates student success annually with incentive awards that recognize high-performing manufacturing students. Based on a 10-year tradition, the CEO’s Incentive Award goes to the top 10 students who have maintained a B or better average, have good class attendance, and the approval of their shop instructor. Students who earn this award receive additional free training in the field of additive manufacturing and solid-works CAD drawing. These incentive courses add value to the student’s resume when applying for full time employment with a manufacturing company.
The future looks bright for NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program in the Danbury region.
The Danbury Advanced Manufacturing Technology program has been in existence since March of 2015. Classes have been held in the evening at the Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury Connecticut. Developed to expand Advanced Manufacturing Technology into the greater Danbury area, the program satisfies a critical need for training to support the growing manufacturing base in that region.
With the success of the AMTC programs and their potential for growth, NVCC is establishing a permanent, state-of-the-art, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center located on the campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Construction on the new site began in May 2021, with occupancy scheduled for late fall 2021.
The new, 3,000 sq. ft space is located on the Western Connecticut State University campus at 190 White Street Danbury, Connecticut. Now under construction, the space will be outfitted with CNC and manual machines, a tool crib, storage room, office, mechanical room, and a large classroom located on the mezzanine overlooking the shop floor. This new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center will include both an evening and daytime program.
The evening program accommodates the Linde Inc, Skills Pipeline workforce development scholarship students and runs from 4:00 - 10:00 p.m. four evenings per week. 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!”
Based on this model, NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center will continue to serve current and future students well into the next decade, working closely with local manufacturers to ensure that students are being trained on the most up-to-date skills.