DANIELSON, CT – On the heels of positive news from major Connecticut manufacturers including; Sikorski and Electric Boat, the state’s, “Make it Here”, campaign got another boost from the education sector. Governor Dannel Mallow cut the ribbon on a $4.8 million Advanced Manufacturing Center, at Quinebaug
Valley Community College,
“What this center is going to do is put hundreds of people into the workforce,” QVCC President Carlee Drummer said. “To say that I am bursting with pride about our new building would be an understatement.”
The 10,000-square-foot QVCC Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center features 7 state-of-the-art Haas CNC machine tools, which includes a VF-2TR 5-axis machining center, 4 Mini Mill vertical machining centers and a pair of ST-10 turning centers. Complementing the CNC machines are several engine lathes, knee mills, surface grinders and various metrology equipment. This center will provide students with a true hands on educational experience, preparing them for high-skill, high-pay jobs with Connecticut manufacturers in the aerospace, firearms, biomedical, and defense industries.
“This is about change, and this is what change looks like,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said during the ceremony. “It’s not just about cutting a ribbon or putting a shovel in the ground. It’s about the actual products that we’re producing.”
“Keeping in mind recent commitments that large manufacturers like Sikorsky and Electric Boat have made to remaining in Connecticut, programs like those at QVCC are integral to maintaining the state’s prominence in the national manufacturing space”, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said.
“It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington that the Navy is planning on having a much larger fleet in the near future,” Courtney added. “The submarines (produced by Electric Boat) are going to be at the absolute top of that food chain. I’m totally bullish … that in 20 years the economy is going to look a lot different than it does today, and what we’re doing here is leading the way to that future.”
QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center also includes a classroom, conference room, mechatronics and metrology labs, mechanical and IT rooms, and a tool crib. Designed by architects Silver/Petrucelli & Associates, the building is LEED Silver Certified, has geothermal HVAC, and will display art by Jeff Slomba, professor of sculpture at Southern Connecticut State University, through the Art in Public Space program.
In 2012 the College was awarded funding from the state of Connecticut for the creation of a manufacturing center to encourage new job creation, while developing and strengthening the state’s workforce competitiveness. The QVCC Advanced Manufacturing Technology certificate program has produced 119 graduates since 2013 and boasts a 95% job placement rate.
To help students with tuition, the Gene Haas Foundation awarded QVCC with a $25,000 scholarship grant. The grant was presented in the form of a giant check, by Lorraine Palmer of Trident Machine Tools, which is New England’s Haas Factory Outlet. The grant is designated for scholarships to support the 34-credit advanced manufacturing certificate program.
“Manufacturers are lining up to hire our graduates,” said Advanced Manufacturing Technology Director Steve LaPointe. “The Gene Haas Foundation’s support will go a long way in helping more students launch manufacturing careers.”
Participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony were Governor Dannel Malloy; Mark Ojakian, president, The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities; Congressman Joe Courtney, Connecticut Second Congressional District; Dr. Carlee Drummer, QVCC president; Senator Tony Guglielmo, Connecticut 35th Senatorial District; Senator Mae Flexer ‘ 08, Connecticut 29th Senatorial District; P.J. “Bud” Salemi, deputy commissioner, Connecticut Department of administrative services; Kelli Vallieres, president, Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA); Sabrina Bouvier ‘ 16, CNC Machinist, SPIROL International Corporation; Christian Sarantopoulos, president, The QVCC Foundation; and Steve LaPointe, QVCC director of advanced manufacturing technology.
Haas Factory Outlet, a Division of Trident Machine Tools, LLC is a full service distributor for Haas Automation, Inc., serving the manufacturing community of New England with an installed base of more than 3500 Haas CNC machine tools since 1994. For more information about these programs, contact Lorraine Palmer or Jeff Boulden at HFO Trident, 888.622.4857 (toll free) or visit www.hfotrident.com.