Naugatuck Valley Community College and Eversource Energy partnered to host an energy summit on May 11 at Eversource’s Berlin, CT campus. The required skills, education, and future outlook in the field of energy anchored the discussion. The summit is part of a series of industry summits held by NVCC. The series has brought together business and academia in the areas of Allied Health, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Bioscience, Energy, Financial Services, and Horticulture/Hospitality to establish a forum for the development of relevant curriculum that serves the needs of the employers in NVCC’s service area and prepares students to become successful professionals with rewarding careers.
The half-day summit, the seventh in the series, included speakers from Eversource such as Vice President of Station Operations and Field Engineering /Communications Joseph Luchini and Vice President of Culture and Organization Development Doreen Nichols who spoke about the evolving industry landscape, the influence of technology as a change-maker, and the path Eversource is taking to become the best energy company by 2020.
In her welcoming remarks, NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., emphasized the College’s commitment to narrowing the skills gap in its 22-town service area and ensuring NVCC’s programs and curricula are responsive to community needs. President De Filippis expressed her pride and delight about having NVCC alumni as panelists. Since 2008, 37 NVCC students have benefited from scholarships from Eversource and former providers.
“We are in a renaissance,” said Eversource’s Luchini in his remarks. “Technology is changing and the way we operated 10-15 years ago doesn’t fit the needs of our customers.”
Ken Lomax, a Manager and Transmission & Distribution Trainer with Eversource served as the moderator for a panel formed of current Eversource professionals who are also graduates of NVCC’s Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) program. The panelists were David Kromidas, a Distribution System Operator; Christopher Roy, a Test Specialist; Jennie Newcomb, an Associate Designer in Engineering; and Patrick Neary, a Test Technician. Each panelist spoke candidly about their academic paths at NVCC and how well NVCC’s curriculum holds up in terms of preparing each of them for their first job at the company. The consensus among them and their current supervisors was that while certain additional math classes and soft skills would be beneficial to add to the curriculum, that overall, the program at NVCC excels in providing students with directly transferable and useful knowledge used daily on the job. The flexibility of NVCC’s faculty and on-campus resources for student success such as the College’s ACE tutoring center and state-of-the-art computer labs were praised by each of the students.
“I feel blessed,” reflected panelist David Kromidas about his experience at NVCC and how it led him directly to a fulfilling career. Kromidas commented that his path is not a typical experience observing that many students make investments in pursuing higher education these days and are granted degrees that do not necessarily translate to job prospects.
The College will use the information shared at the summit to make any required changes to its curriculum so that it continues to supply the industry with a pipeline of workers who have the technical knowledge and skills to keep up with industry demands. NVCC’s EET program focuses on the study of electronic circuits. Students learn both the theory of circuit applications and gain "hands-on" experience by using electronic instruments, microprocessors and computers. Students graduating from the program receive an associates in EET and may begin working in the field upon graduation. The degree also allows students to transfer to the four-year school of their choice to pursue a bachelor's degree in either Electrical Engineering or Electronic Technology. The program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. For more information visit nv.edu/eet.