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20 November 2019

Smaller Manufacturers Association Honors 3 Naugatuck Valley Community College Students

Smaller Manufacturers Association Honors 3 Naugatuck Valley Community College Students

– Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT (SMA) represents the interests of manufacturing in Connecticut, currently just under 200-member companies. The SMA named 3 students from the Advanced Manufacturing Technology program at NVCC “students of the month” at their monthly dinner meeting in November, held at the Watertown Golf Club.

The November dinner meeting announced Connecticut Chief Manufacturing Officer, Colin Cooper who joined the meeting. CMO Cooper greeted the students and members, sharing his vision for manufacturing in Connecticut. According to Cooper, “Manufacturing has played a critical role in our state for over 200 years and we need to work to ensure it will continue to do so well into the future. I know first-hand the challenges of trying to grow a manufacturing business in Connecticut, but I am also acutely aware of the strong competitive advantages we have in this state, including a highly-skilled and engaged workforce, proximity to customers and markets, a critical mass of banks and lenders who understand and support manufacturing, and an increasingly broad and deep array of academic institutions and programs designed and developed to support manufacturing.”

Guest speaker, Keri Lamontagne, Manufacturing Field Representative for the Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship Training opened the meeting with information on funding available to manufacturers through the Manufacturing Innovation Fund (MIF) Apprenticeship Program.

The agenda included remarks by William Shannon, global business leader in manufacturing and startup in the battery and renewable energy industry, who addressed the emerging market of electric vehicles.

Annually the SMA recognizes one student from each cohort of the AMTC at NVCC, for their outstanding academic and technical ability. Recognition includes a Certificate of Achievement from the SMA, a cash award, and the possibility of an interview for an Internship or full-time employment by an attending company.

Three students were recognized. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. noted, “It was good to be in the company of industry partners, colleagues and our students at this lovely event. I was touched by the engagement and love of the students’ parents, working in common cause with our generous colleagues at NVCC and our dedicated industry partners in the SMA.”

Jaheim Anderson was born and raised in Waterbury, a graduate of Crosby High School, he enrolled at NVCC in general studies while also working in the evenings.  While at work one day as a security guard with Securitas, a co-worker recommended the program.

Jaheim toured the manufacturing center, reviewed the program and decided to “give it a shot.”  It was difficult in the beginning, but now it is really starting to come together as he is nearing graduation. He recently interviewed for a Technician position at ASML in Wilton, CT. 

Kyle Fernand attended New Fairfield High School and graduated in June of this year. Although he was successful in math and science classes, and had taken some hands-on classes like mechanical drawing skills and wood shop he really was not sure what he wanted to study in college.  He also visited the manufacturing center and decided to enrolled this Fall.  

Kyle is an A student who excels in both theory and hands-on project work.  He is eligible for an internship this spring semester.  His mechanical and intellectual abilities coupled with his maturity, team work and problem-solving skills serve him well. 

Matt Caruso, was born and raised in Connecticut. He graduated in 2015 from Joel Barlow High School.  At that time, school was not for him.  Not knowing what he wanted to do next, he went West.  Matt moved to Colorado with his older brother, although he liked being outside hiking and riding his Harley, he was working full time in the service industry.  He was not making enough money to build a life, so he decided to return to Connecticut.

Matt kept hearing that manufacturing was the way to go, so decided to check out NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing program.  He has really taken the program seriously and soared. He is interested in an apprenticeship program with a small manufacturer.

According to AMTC Director, Joseph Defeo, “The instructors and staff at Naugatuck Valley Community College are proud of the students selected as NVCC Smaller Manufacturers Student of the Month and are grateful to the SMA for the opportunity to recognize these talented students.”

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