Letter to the Editor: Program changes perception of manufacturing careers

Letter to the Editor: Program changes perception of manufacturing careers

(New Haven Register, 7/26/17)

The New Haven Register’s July 6 article, “Connecticut technical high school summer manufacturer’s academy teaches real skills,” was an enlightening look at the endless possibilities when introducing manufacturing to students at a young age. It opens their worlds to career prospects they may not have otherwise known existed and builds Connecticut’s skilled labor work force.

To clarify, the students portrayed in the story are part of Connecticut Dream It. Do It. Young Manufacturers Academy, which is one of eight such summer programs being run throughout the state by Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT). The academies are made possible through funding from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund. CCAT is the state license holder for Dream It. Do It., a national initiative that promotes manufacturing career awareness. Our Young Manufacturers Academy has been endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers and is recognized by the Institute as a best practice for replication throughout the national network.

This is the ninth consecutive summer CCAT has implemented these Young Manufacturer programs to introduce students to future manufacturing careers.

The program fosters a positive image of the manufacturing workplace through experiential learning, promotes achievement in STEM, and develops an awareness of future career possibilities. Students participate in hands-on workshops and simulation-based activities, and visit local manufacturing facilities, where they have a first-hand opportunity to interact with manufacturers. Since 2009, over 645 students have attended 39 Young Manufacturers Academies around the state.

CCAT is proud to be a main driver of the Young Manufacturers program. More importantly, we are excited to witness the impact our efforts are having on changing perceptions about 21st century careers in manufacturing.

— Susan Palisano

Director, Education & Workforce Development

Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology

East Hartford

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