FARMINGTON - A new scholarship fund benefiting community college students studying precision machining and manufacturing was launched Wednesday at a conference at Tunxis Community College.
The Precision Metalforming Association is sponsoring the scholarship and presented its initial $30,000 donation at the conference, which was attended by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., local manufacturers and officials from the state’s community colleges.
Tunxis Community College, Middlesex Community College and Naugatuck Valley Community College received $10,000 apiece for their scholarship funds. The scholarship will be awarded annually to TCC, MxCC and NVCC students starting in fall 2019.
Scholarship recipients will get $1,500 each. They must be involved in the manufacturing and machining program, demonstrate financial need and be in good academic standing.
Children or spouses of employees of a PMA member company also qualify for the scholarship.
“Today we are pleased and proud to announce such collaboration in the form of a generous and ongoing investment in our students and our programs, one that will help increase Connecticut’s skilled workforce and greatly benefit our region.” Tunxis President James Lombella said. “We are grateful to PMA for the commitment to our schools, even more grateful for our continued relationship with them.”
Lombella said Connecticut manufacturers have stated that they will need 25,000 skilled workers over the next decade.
Murphy said making sure the state’s workforce is ready is important, adding that the state has taken risks that have led to in increase in the number of manufacturing jobs here.
“So much of that boom has occurred because of some risks that we’ve taken, some very smart risks taken by this governor and by the state,” Murphy said. “I have been, probably, to every one of the advanced manufacturing centers and it’s amazing to see students and how much love they have for the learning that’s happening, but how easy it is to be invested in the learning when you are 100 percent confident you are going to have a job. In the advanced manufacturing program, if you commit to the work, you are virtually guaranteed that you’ll have a good-paying job when you finish.”
Daisy Cocco De Filippis, president of Naugatuck Valley Community College; Jason Howey, president of Okay Industries; Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities; and two students currently enrolled in the manufacturing program also spoke at the conference on the impact the manufacturing industry is making on employers and students.
To learn more about Connecticut’s advanced manufacturing technology centers, those interested can visit www.ct.edu .
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.