Chair of the Commerce Committee, Representative Jeff Berger (D-Waterbury) to announced that the Board of Regents (BOR) for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities chose Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury as a manufacturing center to train the state’s future manufacturing workforce. Included in job growth legislation championed by Rep Berger was $17.8 million in state bond funding for the development of manufacturing programs at three community colleges.

“Economic development and job creation are nothing without a workforce poised with the necessary skills and training to enter the field,” Rep. Berger said. “These centers will make the best use of funding and will ensure a consistent and productive partnership between manufacturing and the community colleges.”

Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury,  Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, and Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson were selected by the BOR based on their ability to establish or expand manufacturing technology programs and their commitment to precision manufacturing.

Built on the region’s manufacturing roots and enhanced with modern advancement in technology and innovation, the Advanced Manufacturing Center located in NVCC’s Technology Hall, will continue to feature manufacturing and technical education with subjects ranging from CNE technology to welding and lean manufacturing.

Current enrollment and graduation trends indicate a strong resurgence in NVCC manufacturing programs. There has been a 425 percent increase in the number of students enrolled in manufacturing certificate programs from 2006–10.

The Advanced Manufacturing Center is expected to see an enrollment increase of 100 percent in two years (approximately 90 enrollees) and another 100 percent in five years (approximately 180 enrollees). As a result part of the grant, NVCC will purchase additional equipment to properly train the expanding student body.

NVCC will build upon existing credit and non-credit coursework in traditional machining. The existing Manufacturing Certificate is also being revised into a Multi-Disciplinary Manufacturing Technology Certificate program to introduce technologies and create a manufacturing generalist who can succeed in a wide range of manufacturing environments.

The NVCC Community and Economic Development Division will also provide complementary non-credit courses so manufacturing students will be well-prepared to enter the workplace as effective employees with manufacturing knowledge and skills.  In addition, close collaborations with NVCC’s Job Placement Center and the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board will provide students with internships and industry partnerships producing highly skilled graduates ready to meet the challenges of 21st century product design, innovation and manufacture.

NVCC will also be responsible for providing measureable outcomes —which include students graduating from the program and final job placement in the state’s manufacturing industry.

Rep. Berger serves the 73rd General Assembly District and is currently in his fourth term.  He is Chairman of the Commerce Committee and serves on the Finance, Revenue & Bonding and the Judiciary Committee.