Carey Manufacturing, Goodwin’s Dadona Earn Innovation, STEM Awards


A Cromwell manufacturer and a dedicated educator were honored with manufacturing awards at the Oct. 29 Made in Connecticut: 2021 Manufacturing Summit in Trumbull.

Carey Manufacturing was awarded the CBIA/CONNSTEP Workforce Innovation Award, and Matt Dadona, head of Goodwin University’s Advanced Manufacturing Program at the Connecticut River Academy, the ReadyCT STEM Award for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Award: TD Bank’s Steve Litchfield with Carey Manufacturing general manager Paul Lavoie.

“I’ve been looking forward to this segment all morning,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said during the conference.

“These awards provide an opportunity to recognize those who are making a difference on the shop floor, in the classroom, and in their communities,” he said.

Steve Litchfield, TD Bank’s regional vice president for the Greater Hartford region, presented the Workforce Innovation Award to Carey Manufacturing general manager Paul Lavoie.

Litchfield said the award highlighted “their work to ensure that Connecticut maintains the most accessible and high-quality workforce pipeline in the country, ensuring our workforce remains agile through curricula and programming that is responsive to the needs of the 21st century economy.”

‘Always Say Yes’

The award recognizes manufacturing companies that demonstrate initiative and leadership in working with local schools and their communities to expand awareness of manufacturing as a career and provide manufacturing training opportunities to traditional high school students.

As a small business, “innovation is driven by opportunity,” Lavoie said. “When we have problems, we innovate.”

When Carey Manufacturing was faced with a significant workforce problem, they “built a network and an ecosystem” designed to connect with schools and the community, and became known as “the company that will always say yes.”

“If you need a tour, yes, we’ll do it,” Lavoie said. “If you want to send educators to us to learn, yes, we’ll do it.”

Lavoie explained how the company has grown to put “education ahead of motivation,” and that providing employees with education has led to increased retention and a stronger workforce.

“We want to make sure every manufacturing job in Connecticut is filled,” he said. “We want to be part of the success of the state of Connecticut.”

Unique Pathways

Gloria Ortiz-Rivera, director of early college and career pathways with CBIA affiliate ReadyCT, presented the ReadyCT STEM Award for Excellence in Manufacturing to Goodwin University’s Dadona.

She commended Dadona for “effectively working to amplify manufacturing instruction.”

CTRA is designed to meet the needs of the manufacturing industry in Connecticut by providing students with the skills they need to fill crucial roles in the sector.

Dadona is an educator who has displayed commitment to advancing students in the K-12 system for careers in the field of manufacturing.

ReadyCT’s Gloria Ortiz-Rivera and award recipient Matt Dadona from Goodwin University.

Throughout the COVID pandemic, he has created unique pathways for students to pursue continuing education opportunities beyond the scope of the classroom.

Dadona explained he entered education “to be able to help people discover their passion and develop their skills to find the career that worked for them, both professionally and personally.”

He credited Goodwin University’s Early College Advanced Manufacturing pathway with creating meaningful opportunities for students “eager and ready to enter the workforce to address the real employment gap that we have.

“The success of this program hinges on us all working together to address the skills gap,” he said.

Dadona also thanked ReadyCT, who “help to make these outcomes for students a reality.”


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