Determination and Drive Leads to Success for Joint Endeavor in Manufacturing

Windham High School Early College Program studentsWindham High School ECO students graduating with College Certificates

In 2016 Quinebaug Valley Community College teamed with Windham High School, creating the Windham Early College Opportunity (ECO) program, to provide students a chance to earn college credits in manufacturing disciplines. There were many questions along the way about curriculum, student engagement and funding sources. QVCC was creative in making this happen through College Career Pathways resources, the Windham Board of Education, and the help from the Eastern Workforce Investment Board (EWIB).

Beginning their freshman year, Windham High School students took several classes in advanced manufacturing at their school, earning 10 college credits in Manufacturing Math II, Blueprint Reading I, Benchwork and Computer Assisted Drawing. As juniors, in the summer of 2019, they attended QVCC and took Milling I and Lathe I, earning four more credits (paid for by the Windham Board of Education). Support from the Eastern Workforce Investment Board helped with a critical CNC Fundamentals course, which set students up to take one remaining class, Safety in the Workplace. This one-credit course completes their Level I certificate.

By the end of the fall 2020 semester, the students will have completed QVCC certificates in Machine Technology Level I and Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology II. 30 credits will apply directly to an Associate Degree in Technology Studies for those who wish to continue their education. Director and Instructor Stephen LaPointe is actively seeking out opportunities to start their careers in manufacturing in the Windham area. “I’m impressed with their long-term commitment to completing this journey. The students have come together as a cohort and have relied on each other for support in so many ways. Transportation has been one of the biggest obstacles, yet they made it work. This shows me they have determination and will make great employees in the manufacturing world, which will benefit our community tremendously.”

There is a continuous pipeline of Windham High School students that have committed to this pathway to a successful career in manufacturing. In September, Windham ECO student, Karen De Los Santos Dominguez and Stephen LaPointe participated in a roundtable with Governor Lamont at Eastern Connecticut State University, hosted by ECSU President Elsa Nunez with Board of Higher Education President Mark Ojakian. The discussion was focused on coping with COVID in the current environment and how on-ground classes can continue to run for hands-on learning. Karen provided valuable insight into her positive on-ground experience at QVCC’s Danielson campus.

Learn more about QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at qvcc.edu/manufacturing.

 

Advanced Manufacturing Program is Up and Running

Introduction to Machine Operator Program and Spring Credit Courses Resume On-Campus

Quinebaug Valley Community College closed campus on March 12th in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most QVCC classes were able to resume online the week of March 23, but hands-on courses needing lab time needed a different solution.  QVCC Director of Advanced Manufacturing, Steve LaPointe received approval for a phase one re-opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) by Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian in late May.  Using CDC guidelines, social distancing and safety precautions, the first group of students returned on June 2, and 12 students were able to complete their short-term training in Introduction to Machine Operator Program they began March 3.

The Introduction to Machine Operator Program, is a seven-week, 210 hour program through the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor-Workforce Innovation Fund in partnership with the CT Department of Labor and the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board.  This was the 21st Pipeline program run at QVCC.  The training supports the hiring demands for Electric Boat, Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA) and other manufacturers.  Mark Hill, interim president/CEO EWIB congratulated the students on their success, “Congratulations to QVCC and the Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative (MPI) students for completing the Machine Operator training program! Using on-line training and other creative options, they persevered in the training program in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The students acquired important skills which will help them in the job market in the future.”

On Monday June 8th, students who were enrolled in spring manufacturing courses started back at the lab to finish National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Credentials. Additional plans this summer include bringing Windham Early College Opportunity (ECO) students to campus starting July 6. ECO is a collaboration between QVCC and Windham High School, Willimantic, CT which provides a pathway of courses taught at Windham High School leading towards a QVCC certificate in Advanced Manufacturing.

LaPointe stated, “It is great to get up and running again at the College. The students in the Pipeline program were eager complete, as you can tell by their smiles (photo attached).” LaPointe also talked about the upcoming fall semester stating, “We will be running with half the capacity we normally run for a total of 24 students, dividing them between on-ground in the classroom and in the lab. Students who are interested in enrolling for fall should not delay.”

For additional information, contact Steve LaPointe, 860.932.4111 or slapointe@qvcc.edu.

SPIROL Art Gallery to Host Art from Four Connecticut Community College Manufacturing Centers

In honor of Manufacturing Month, Quinebaug Valley Community College is bringing the state’s first four Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers together for an art show at the SPIROL Art Gallery, located on QVCC’s Danielson campus.

The Art of Manufacturing will feature work created by more than 50 manufacturing graduates, students and instructors from Quinebaug Valley, Asnuntuck, Housatonic, and Naugatuck Valley Community Colleges. This show marks the first time the four centers have come together to collaborate on an art event.

The opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 17 from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. The show will run from October 7-25 and is free and open to the public.

The SPIROL Art Gallery was created in 2006 thanks to the generosity of local manufacturer, SPIROL Corporation. The company was vital in the opening of QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in 2016.

For additional information, contact Sandy Gould at sgould@qvcc.edu (860-932-4178).

QVCC Celebrates Manufacturing Month

October is Manufacturing Month. In observance, Quinebaug Valley Community College will host the following events:

  • October 17 – AMTC Art Show – “The Art of Manufacturing” show, featuring art from Asnuntuck, Housatonic, Naugatuck Valley and Quinebaug Valley Community Colleges Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers, will be open from October 7-25. The opening reception will be held in the SPIROL Art Gallery on October 17 from 5:30-7:30pm. Contact: Sandy Gould (sgould@qvcc.edu, 860-932- 4178).
  • October 18 – 2019 New England HTEC Educators Conference – Network with manufacturing professionals, meet with leading experts in tooling, software and metrology, learn about available support from Haas, enter for a chance to win a Haas CNC Simulator, and more! Breakfast and lunch are provided. Registration is free. 8am-3pm at the Danielson Campus. Contact: Jodi Clark (jclark@qvcc.edu, 860-932-4128).
  • October 25 – Sixth Annual Manufacture Your Future – QVCC will welcome more than 200 students from area high schools for a hands-on introduction to QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC). Activities will include a tour of the AMTC, interactive workshops and live demonstrations, and the opportunity to meet graduates of the AMTC program. Guidance counselors strongly recommended to attend. More than 25 business from Eastern Connecticut will be on hand to talk with students about career opportunities. Contact: Jodi Clark (jclark@qvcc.edu, 860-932-4128).