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Smaller Manufacturing Association Reaffirms Partnership With NVCC

Waterbury, Conn. – More than 170 state manufacturers, NVCC leaders and manufacturing students attended the annual Smaller Manufacturers Association (SMA) meeting, which was held at the College for the first time ever this month, forging stronger partnerships and expanding goals for the upcoming year.

The SMA partnered with NVCC last year to meet the demands for more skilled workers in the manufacturing field.

Manufacturing Program Coordinator Joe DeFeo said he was thrilled with the turnout and the positive response from the manufacturing industry in support of the program.

“I think the overwhelming presence of manufacturers at the meeting just goes to show how strong our partnership is and that we’ve really been meeting their need for skilled workers,” DeFeo said. “They’ve become our true partners, and from the response we’ve seen this year, that partnership is only going to grow.”

This year the manufacturing program graduated 40 students and awarded 110 manufacturing certificates. Defeo hopes to eventually expand the program to offer more specialized, higher-level degrees such as metrology and additive manufacturing.

SMA Executive Director Cyndi Zoldy said manufacturers have been very pleased with the success of the program so far and SMA members were thrilled with the turnout at the annual meeting.

“People were so impressed with the hospitality of NVCC and the poise of the students coming out of the program,” Zoldy said. “They’re very happy with the students the school has produced and our partnership has just been a nice, communal effort.

NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph. D, said based on the collaborative success of the SMA and NVCC this year she expects the manufacturing program to continue expanding and gaining more success in the future.

“This program has been an example of what happens when private and academic institutions combine their talents and energy for the good of the community,” President De Filippis said. “Our goal was to recruit new cohorts of students to earn certificates offered by the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center and that’s what we’ve done. The best news is that students have already secured jobs in our local community, and many more will follow.”

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