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Jul 24, 2014

Advanced Manufacturing Centers Initiative Named NEDA Program of the Year

The ConnSCU Advanced Manufacturing Centers Initiative was chosen as the Northeastern Economic Development Association’s Program of the Year.

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) Advanced Manufacturing Centers Initiative was chosen as the Northeastern Economic Development Association’s (NEDA) Program of the Year and will be recognized at NEDA’s 2014 Annual conference in Worcester, Mass., in September. 

The Advanced Manufacturing Centers Initiative was recognized for its program longevity since the creation of the first Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield in 1998, and for successfully duplicating the initiative at three community colleges.  In 2012, three new Advanced Manufacturing Centers were established at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, and Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson.

The CT Advanced Manufacturing Certificate program is a one-year, college-credit bearing certificate that awards students with an OSHA 10 certificate,  576 hours of related instruction toward an apprenticeship, and opportunities to earn nationally recognized industry credentials through the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS).  

The AMC initiative was developed in collaboration with the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) and statewide industry partners with the support of Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly. The BOR — which governs Connecticut’s four universities,  12 community colleges and one online college — implemented manufacturing technology programs to help foster economic development in Connecticut. In the last decade, more than 1,000 students have graduated from the AMC program and have successfully obtained manufacturing jobs.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Centers Initiative is designed to respond to the needs of the state’s manufacturers and prepare students for the 21st century global workforce,” said Board of Regents President Gregory Gray. “With the ongoing need for entry-level advanced manufacturing employees and worker training statewide, these four centers provide an excellent opportunity for manufacturers to hire new employees.”

The four AMCs maintain relationships with industry leaders and with the Connecticut Technical High School System. Most recently, an Educational Success Compact has been developed between the Connecticut Technical High School System to support career pathways for graduates who wish to continue their education in the CSCU system.

Industry representatives have been instrumental in the success of the CT Advanced Manufacturing Centers Initiative through collaboration with the BOR to form the Statewide Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Committee (SAMAC) that includes 30 representatives from manufacturing companies, education and government; while the four Connecticut Community Colleges additionally formed regional Industry Advisory Committees with industry partners. These partners represent community support and stakeholder involvement to guide the development of new AMC programs.

The Northeastern Economic Development Association (NEDA) creates effective regional economic development programs and promotes regional cooperation and learning through professional networking. For more information on the CSCU Advanced Manufacturing Centers Initiative, contact Tracy Ariel, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Centers, at 860.723.0605 or arielt@ct.edu.