Manufacturing Today
- Page 9
Manufacturing In 8th Year At NVCC; Welding Program Expansion Planned

By Naugatuck Valley
Community College

 

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury began enrolling students in the fall of 2012. Since then, hundreds of students have completed the certificate program and moved on to careers with area manufacturing companies.

 

September 2019 marks the start of the eighth year for this program. The AMTC at NVCC boasts significant achievements in the development of the region’s manufacturing workforce, including industry certifications, incentive awards, 100 percent job-placement rates and a record number of women entering the program — eight in the class of 2019, and five in the class of 2020.

 

Over the last seven years, NVCC’s AMTC has led the way with initiatives that make a difference to the manufacturing sector of the state’s economy. Since the spring of 2014, when the college began offering the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certification, 660 NIMS certificates have been issued to AMTC students from both the Waterbury and Danbury campus programs. Celebrating the highest number of certifications out of the seven community colleges in the state system that have Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers, NVCC is again poised to make a difference in local workforce training. These nationally recognized, portable, stackable credentials are often used by manufacturers to identify qualified candidates for employment.

 

The college celebrates student success annually with the Presidential Awards Ceremony, during which high-performing manufacturing students are recognized. The top 10 students, based on grade point average, are selected for additional free educational training in the field of additive manufacturing and solid works. This mini, one-week class is a highly sought award. In addition, all students who have a B or better average are awarded an OSHA 10 safety training certification. According to NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, the awards program was started seven years ago as an incentive for AMTC students to perform well in their studies by providing additional training at no cost.

 

The college has partnerships with over 200 local manufacturers. Currently, the AMTC boasts a 100 percent job-placement rate in good manufacturing jobs throughout the Greater Waterbury, Danbury and northwest corridor of the state, with an average starting salary between $17.50 and $20 per hour.

 

NVCC’s industry partnerships benefit students and area manufacturers. For example, Praxair Inc., a subsidiary of Linde with corporate offices in Danbury, expanded its Skills Pipeline Workforce Development to western Connecticut. Through a new collaboration with NVCC, this program focuses on preparing workers for careers in advanced manufacturing. Starting this fall semester, 15 NVCC students from Greater Danbury are on full-scholarships for the one-year certificate program, which includes a hands-on internship in the second semester. They will graduate prepared to work in computer numerical control (CNC), tool and die, and basic machine operations. Area manufacturers are eager for workers with these skills.

 

In November 2018, The AMTC at NVCC was selected as one of 10 national finalists for the 2019 Bellwether Award in the area of workforce development. The awards, presented at the Community College Futures Assembly in San Antonio, are given annually in three categories to colleges with outstanding and innovative programs or practices. The assembly focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating. The NVCC Bellwether Awards presentation team included Joe DeFeo, director of the AMTC at NVCC; Cynthia Zoldy, executive director of the Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT; Justin Moore, Ph.D., associate dean of STEM at NVCC; Catherine Awwad, executive director of the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, and Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary.

 

Welding, another specialization in the advanced manufacturing technology program, was first offered in Waterbury in 2009 and will now be offered by the AMTC at NVCC in Danbury, through a partnership with Abbott Technical High School. The program is scheduled to begin in late fall 2019. Danbury’s initial welding program focuses on MIG (metal inert gas), a widely used welding technique utilized throughout industry. The 90-hour class meets three hours per evening, two evenings per week, and results in a nationally recognized certification.

 

NVCC offers certificates to develop the qualifications that will prepare you for a career in welding in just a few months. NVCC is an Approved Testing Facility for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CONNDOT) welding certification.

 

Students with previous welding experience may find advanced courses that provide specialized skills in a single welding process. NVCC offers an opportunity for welders to upgrade their current skill levels or add a certification that may qualify them for additional career opportunities. Most NVCC welding courses are Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) approved, and many are both WIOA approved & VA Funding approved.

 

For information on welding classes at NVCC, visit our website: https://nv.edu/Academics/Workforce-Education.