FARMINGTON - Tunxis Community College can be a model for what the country needs to expand, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal joined Dr. James Lombella, president of Tunxis and Asnuntuck Community College, students, faculty and staff members in a press conference Friday that highlighted the importance of the college’s new advanced manufacturing technology programs.
Lombella said the college will start the new manufacturing programs in the fall semester because the state needs a qualified workforce to support the nearly 13,000 jobs available in the manufacturing industry in 2018 alone. Lombella assured that the school is prepared to participate in delivering education to meet the manufacturing workforce needs.
“Beginning this fall Tunxis will offer certificates and degrees in both advanced manufacturing, machine technology and manufacturing electro-mechanical maintenance technology,” Lombella said. “Students enrolled in the machine and electro-mechanical maintenance technology programs will attend Tunxis’ campus five days a week with hands-on learning on our new mechatronics-electromechanical lab that is currently under construction here on campus. Students enrolled in the advanced manufacturing machine technology program will attend our Tunxis campus three days a week in our new metrology inspection and 3D additive manufacturing lab, which is also under construction. They will spend two days a week at Asnuntuck in the new 27,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing technology center where they will receive hands-on experiential learning.”
In addition, Blumenthal shared his recent success in the passing of the federal defense spending bill, which supports jobs in Connecticut’s manufacturing industry. He also praised the importance of the job of those who manufacture aircraft and other essential equipment used by veterans.
“Those people who work at Electric Boat and Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky and all the suppliers, those workers are as important as most of those who wear a uniform and carry weapons,” Blumenthal said. We always want them to have superiority and it comes back to these guys who are putting together these submarines and the helicopters and the aircraft. Yes, it’s about cool jobs, it’s about economic progress, but it’s also about our national security, our national protection.”
Kaitlin Lynch graduated from Asnuntuck’s manufacturing program. She said that even though a career in manufacturing wasn’t her first choice, she is glad she made the decision of joining and completing the program.
“I didn’t really understand the need and want for a manufacturing career until I attended and really saw a grasp towards what we need today in our workforce and will continue to need,” Lynch said.
To learn more about enrolling at a manufacturing program at Tunxis call 860-773-1490.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.