Pathways to Manufacturing Technology Careers Expo To Be Held January 11, 2012 at Gateway's North Haven Campus

On January 11, 2012, the Connecticut Community Colleges' College of Technology's Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM) will be holding one of an ongoing series of learning and career exploratory symposiums at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT. The RCNGM, a National Science Foundation funded Center of Excellence, sponsors these symposiums in collaboration with trade associations such as the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the New Haven Manufacturers Association and industry partners. The evening exposition is aimed at educating the general public about exciting and rewarding careers in next generation manufacturing. Parents interested in learning more about advanced manufacturing careers are particularly encouraged to come and bring friends and neighbors to learn about Connecticut's vibrant and growing manufacturing sector.

"Manufacturing companies are looking to fill open positions," says Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch, executive director, CT Community Colleges' College of Technology's Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing. "According to the 2011 CBIA Connecticut Manufacturing Workforce Survey commissioned by the RCNGM, nearly 30 percent of responding manufacturing companies plan to hire full-time employees over the next five years, but there is concern about finding and attracting skilled employees. People either don't know about the various careers in advanced manufacturing, or they don't know how to obtain the education needed to become a skilled technologist or engineer in the field."

This preliminary event on January 11th precedes the actual student expo on January 12th, where students from the greater New Haven area will learn how a product is designed and developed. At both events, participants will participate in "pods" simulating an actual manufacturing process from design to completion including advanced manufacturing processes such as laser machining; robotics and rapid prototyping. Each pod will interactively teach participants about the various steps in the design and development of products as well as the subsequent manufacturing processes. A number of manufacturing companies will also be on-hand to answer questions about career opportunities. At 6 p.m. there will be a formal presentation on careers in manufacturing followed by refreshments.

"Manufacturing is an extremely rewarding career path," added Wosczyna-Birch. "The challenge is making people aware that advanced manufacturing is a critical part of the Connecticut economy and the many exciting careers that are available."

For more information on the event, go to www.nextgenmfg.org

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CBIA is Connecticut's largest business organization, with 10,000 member companies. For more information, please contact Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957; meaghan.macdonald@cbia.com).