Edgar Ortiz, left, receives the SMA Student of the Month award from David Mieczkowski, president of SMA
Waterbury, Conn. - On Jan. 14 the Smaller Manufacturer’s Association (SMA) honored Edgar Ortiz as NVCC's first SMA Student of the Month. The SMA also currently honors students from Wilcox, Kaynor and Oliver Wolcott Technical High Schools.
Edgar, who is a second-semester student in the advanced manufacturing certificate program, was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico and came to America when he was eight years old. He was raised in Connecticut and studied business accounting at Ohio State University.
Edgar worked in manufacturing for over 11 years but was laid off during the downturn in the economy. He returned to school in the spring of 2012 to establish more marketable skills at NVCC in the non-credit Introduction to Manufacturing certificate. He excelled in the 14-week course with an overall grade of 91.
At the time Edgar finished his introductory course, the new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) was getting ready to open at NVCC. He enrolled in the new advanced manufacturing certification program and was recognized as one of the top ten students out of a class of 55 at the end of his first semester. When the instructors met to decide who to choose for the SMA award, they had many top academic students to consider but it was Edgar’s heart and teamwork that made him stand out above the rest.
L to R: Michael Farfaglia and Edgar Ortiz job shadowed at Truelove & Maclean, Inc., in Watertown in January.
“The student in my class that really amazed me is Edgar Ortiz,” said Anthony DiFederico, his lead instructor. “He was very green when he started but put in the time and effort to learn quickly. After he became comfortable with the machines, he started to open up and asked question after question. Before I knew it, he started to pick things up and ended up helping others. He is a man of great character who never looks down on anyone and always offers help and encouragement.”
Edgar is the father of two children, one of whom will be leaving for college soon. According to SMA and AMTC staff, he will be an excellent employee for the manufacturer who gets to hire him when he graduates this May.