Manufacturing Today
- Page 12
Chamber’s 2017 STEM/Manufacturing Expo Returns to Naugatuck
David Krechevsky, public policy & economic development director Waterbury Regional Chamber

The 2017 STEM/Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Expo of Greater Waterbury, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3, will once again be held in the Technology Hall Atrium and dining room at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury. With the support of schools in the region, approximately 400 middle school, high school, technical school and college students will attend the Expo, now in its seventh year.

The Expo provides students with an opportunity to meet and interact with manufacturers from throughout Greater Waterbury, and to learn about the variety of excellent job and career opportunities in the industry. In addition, Granville Academy, a nonprofit, after-school coaching and counseling program that provides inner-city youth with an introduction to business and industry, will again partner with the Chamber on this event. Granville’s efforts help to ensure the Expo’s continuing success.

In addition to providing this year’s venue, Naugatuck Valley Community College, led by President Daisy Coco De Filippis, and its Advanced Manufacturing Program, directed by Joseph DeFeo, also will provide students and educators with guided tours of NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center and related STEM facilities. All of those who attend will have the opportunity to see the variety of advanced technology machinery and tools the students in the manufacturing program use as they work toward their certifications. Tours will once again be led by students and faculty in the program.

The Smaller Manufacturers Association of Connecticut also continues to partner with the chamber to make this event an annual success. Its support has been invaluable in ensuring participation from the manufacturing community and presenting the latest educational advancements in these fields. Chamber Vice Chairman at Large Rich Dupont, of Resource Development Associates in Watertown, also plays a major role in ensuring input from manufacturers for the event and how company representatives can best connect with the future workforce.

The Expo is intended to promote the many opportunities in the region for jobs and careers in 21st Century manufacturing, and has resulted in jobs for some attendees. Since its debut in 2011, the Expo has been attended by more than 4,500 students, connecting them with manufacturers who showcase their products and services. In addition, the Expo provides exhibitors with an excellent opportunity to network with other manufacturers in the region and beyond, and to make new contacts and stay up-to-date on the industry’s growth in Connecticut. All exhibitors have the opportunity to speak directly to students, educators and parents to help dispel the myths about manufacturing that stand as obstacles to attracting future members of the workforce.

We look forward to another successful event and hope to continue with the support of our region. If your company is interested in participating or wants more information, please visit www.waterburychamber.com for or call the Waterbury Regional Chamber at 203-757-0701