CCAT Rolls Out Manufacturing Internship Program
The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology launched its engineering internship program, designed to introduce students to manufacturing careers.
The program—in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund—is open to all small and mid-size Connecticut manufacturers and all students.
Companies with less than 300 employees may qualify for a matching wage subsidy grant, and receive up to $7,000 for up to two interns.
“Internships and experiential learning opportunities lay the foundation for one’s future career,” said CCAT chief technology officer Jackie Garofano.
“Ensuring students immerse themselves within our high-tech, fast-paced manufacturing companies to gain hands-on, real-world experience early in their collegiate careers is a key element of this program.
“Equally as important is empowering this next-gen talent by offering them plenty of opportunities to network and grow.”
The labor shortage continues to remain top of mind for Connecticut employers.
CBIA’s 2022 Connecticut Manufacturing Report found that 87% of manufacturers reported difficulty finding and/or retaining workers, with 44% saying the lack of skilled applicants was the greatest obstacle to growth.
In addition, over one-fifth (22%) of manufacturers are making their greatest investment in employee retention.
Connecticut chief manufacturing officer Paul Lavoie said the internship program is critical to retaining students in the state.
“We want to make sure our college students fully understand the outstanding career opportunities across our state,” he said.
“We make the most sophisticated machines and parts in the state, we have a talented workforce, and we are a national leader in innovation.
“An internship at a manufacturing company is the best way to get involved, grow, and influence exciting opportunities for students and the industry.”
Garofano said the success of the program’s pilot cohort bode well for the full rollout.
“We saw last year’s pilot cohort establish strong relationships with each other, and it’s exciting that so many interns are returning to Connecticut manufacturers this summer,” she said.
Burke Aerospace president Brittany Isherwood, a participant in the program, said working with students brought fresh and innovative ideas to the table.
“The students we brought on were new to manufacturing and offered a unique perspective, often coming up with ideas we hadn’t thought of before,” she said.
“They were able to apply their creativity and skills learned in school and at Burke to help troubleshoot processes, design and produce complex tooling, and provide a new viewpoint on traditional manufacturing methods.
“The internship program is a very important and integral part of our business.”
Employers who are interested in posting a position through the program’s portal should submit a short interest application.
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