Connecticut has launched a new collaborative effort to support manufacturing industry in the state. The collaboration, called “TEAM Works,” -- Technology, Education, and Advanced Manufacturing -- joins together Connecticut’s public and private colleges, comprehensive and technical high schools, small and large manufacturers, and state agencies.
The shared goal of the plan is to produce a skilled workforce to ensure Connecticut’s manufacturing industry will continue to grow into the future.
According to Connecticut Colleges and State Universities President Mark Ojakian, Connecticut’s more than 4,000 manufacturers will need an additional 25,000 to 35,000 skilled workers to meet the demands of the 21st century.
“I’m confident that TEAM Works is a realistic plan that will put Connecticut in position to continue to benefit from a revitalization in manufacturing,” Ojakian said.
Although CSCU is the largest higher education network in the state with 85,000 enrolled students, Ojakian said by itself, the system doesn’t have the capacity for the number of graduates that will be required by manufacturing industry.
Mark Scheinberg, president of East Hartford's private Goodwin College, shared this sentiment.
“We’re in a magic moment in Connecticut,” Scheinberg said. “We look forward to playing a significant role along with CSCU and other training providers in developing the talent pipeline.”
Katherine Saint, President of Bridgeport-based manufacturing company Schwerdtle sees a bright future for the state. “If we continue to be able to supply the top high-tech workers, business are going to move here, businesses are going to stay here, and this state is going to continue to be one of the top tier centers for manufacturing in the country,” said Saint.
The announcement of the plan took place in the Connecticut Science Center’s Engineering Lab Exhibition, which Matt Fleury, president and CEO of the center, noted was significant.
“These opportunities, as was described, are growing, not only over the next decade, but over the next multiple decades,” Fleury said. “Which means that the 10-year olds you hear experimenting in our engineering lab behind me are part of this story.”