Feb. 3, 2012
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HCC Included in $17.8 Million Grant For HCC Regional Advanced Manufacturing Center
BRIDGEPORT -- Housatonic Community College has been awarded a share of a $17.8 million grant, which it will use to create The HCC Regional Advanced Manufacturing Center for Southwestern Connecticut at the college.
The center will expand the college’s manufacturing education capability to give students the 21st century knowledge and skills needed by today’s manufacturers. It will feature a manufacturing lab, an engineering/design studio, and a welding lab to be used to support the college’s credit and non-credit manufacturing courses.
“I am most pleased that Housatonic’s manufacturing program has been selected for this grant,” said HCC President Anita T. Gliniecki. “With this funding, the college can complete the expansion of a regional advanced manufacturing center.”
“We see manufacturing as one of the growth areas in Connecticut,” she said. “The college has conducted intensive discussion and research with local manufacturers and vocational technical school partners to bring this manufacturing center to fruition and increase the training and education opportunities for the residents of Southwestern Connecticut.”
Among the features of the manufacturing lab will be an Inspection/Metrology Center with precision measuring tools, a 20-station computer lab, Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines, and Rapid Prototypers.
“The center was created not only with current HCC students in mind, but with high school students, current workers and career changers as well,” said Academic Dean Elizabeth Roop. “It will provide people with the skills they need for employment and careers in today’s expanding manufacturing environment.”
“Our goal has been to develop a state-of-the-art manufacturing training and educational facility that will serve as a base from which to train talented workers to meet manufacturers’ needs now, and in the future, a truly regional resource for manufacturers,” she added.
The center was designed and built with input from the region’s manufacturing community, said Academic Coordinator Bill Griffin. “Our vision was to create a manufacturing center for this part of the state that would provide students with the education and training they need for manufacturing careers right here in Connecticut. Toward this end, we contacted more than 400 of the region’s manufacturers – twice – to identify the education and training needs of the manufacturing community and develop ways to meet them,” he said.
State Rep. Tony Hwang (R-134th Dist.) rallied 18 senators and representatives in support of HCC’s selection as an advanced manufacturing center. "It will help Housatonic Community College establish a manufacturing educational center that will benefit our local businesses through a skilled workforce that can compete in a highly competitive global marketplace,” he said. "It reflects the collective efforts of local state legislators acting as a cohesive bipartisan team in helping our community by helping to create an environment that will spur job growth that the state so desperately needs. ”
“This was the result of years of effort on everyone’s part,” said Kris Lorch, President of the Bridgeport-based Alloy Engineering, who personally pressed for the center’s creation with the Board of Regents. “This will ensure that I have a steady flow of qualified candidates for jobs with my company, while providing my employees with a place to go for hands-on training.”
In addition to creating the manufacturing center at the college, the grant will contribute to the manufacturing laboratories at HCC’s partner vocational-technical schools, which include Platt Technical High School in Milford and Emmett O’Brien Technical High School in Ansonia. “Strong partners mean strong programs that will meet the needs of Southwestern Connecticut,” Gliniecki said.
The grant funding comes from House Bill 6801, An Act Promoting Economic Growth and Job Creation, Section 32. HCC is one of three community colleges that will share the grant.
Housatonic Community College provides an affordable and accessible education through two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops. In addition, HCC offers employee and occupational training for businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and professional associations to help develop the educated and skilled workforce required to meet regional business and industry needs. HCC is nationally recognized as an “Achieving the Dream” institution. To learn more, visit the college’s website at: www.hcc.commnet.edu.
HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. Free parking is available in the Housatonic garage.