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


Sixth Annual Manufacture Your Future Event at Quinebaug Valley Community College

QVCC Advanced Manufacturing Technology CenterOn Friday, October 25 from 8:30am-12:30pm, Quinebaug Valley Community College will welcome more than 200 students from area high schools for the Sixth Annual Manufacture Your Future event. This event is held each year in October during Advanced Manufacturing Month in Connecticut.

Manufacture Your Future is a hands-on introduction to QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC). Activities will include a tour of the AMTC, the opportunity to meet graduates of the AMTC program, live demonstrations and interactive workshops. The workshops the students will attend are:

  • Programmable Logic Controllers with our PLC’s adjunct who is also a representative from PepsiCo
  • Lean Concepts with a representative from Fastenal
  • Romer Arm 3D Scanning with a representative from Hexagon Metrology
  • Robotics with one of our Advanced Manufacturing/Mechatronics alums

Steve LaPointe, Director of QVCC’s AMTC, explained, “Manufacture Your Future is so important for students because it serves as a pipeline into career exploration in the field of advanced manufacturing.” He continued, “We’ve got students coming from high schools in central Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It’s great that we can show students from surrounding states what QVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program has to offer.”

Guidance counselors are strongly recommended to attend. More than 25 business from Eastern Connecticut will be on hand to talk with students about career opportunities.

For more information, contact Jodi Clark (, 860-932-4128).

2019 New England HTEC Educators Conference

Join us on Friday, October 18 for the 2019 New England HTEC Educators Conference!

• Network with manufacturing instructors, administrators and advocates throughout the region
• Attend partners presentations, an instructor forum and an industry panel discussion
• Meet with leading experts in tooling, software and metrology
• Learn about support available from Haas and your local HFO
• Learn how to tap into grants from the Gene Haas Foundation
• Enter for a chance to win a Haas CNC Simulator

Breakfast and lunch are provided. Registration is required and is FREE for educators.


For more information, please contact Jodi Clark at 860-932-4128 or

QVCC Offers Manufacturing Career Opportunities Through Collaboration with Windham High School

As the demand rises for skilled manufacturers in Connecticut, so does the initiative of Quinebaug Valley Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. As a result of the Windham High School Early College Opportunity (ECO) Program, the QVCC Manufacturing program is providing local high school students with the academic foundation and applied experience to have successful manufacturing careers.

Students at Windham High School (WHS) have the opportunity to gain manufacturing skills through related courses offered by the high school, such as MFG 124 Blueprint Reading I, MFG 105 Manufacturing Math II, and MFG 153 Benchwork. This summer, incoming seniors at WHS continued their coursework at QVCC by taking two more manufacturing classes, MFG 154 Lathe I and MFG 155 Milling I, leaving only two classes left for students to complete the Basic Manufacturing Machine Technology Level I Certificate. At the end of the four-week period, 18 students completed the Lathe I course and 12 students completed the Milling I course. Five of the students from Lathe I did not take Milling I due to opportunities to participate in paid internships at Electric Boat and other companies. Funding for the Windham High School ECO Program is provided through College Career Pathways (CCP).

QVCC also runs the Intro to Manufacturing Pipeline, a 7-week, 210-hour program with five programs scheduled to run from September 2019 – June 2020. Working with the Eastern Workforce Investment Board, students are recruited and placed in manufacturing jobs at Electric Boat and other Eastern CT businesses.

For more information about QVCC’S Advanced Manufacturing Program, visit us at the Advanced Manufacturing Information Session and Registration Day on Saturday, August 10 from 9-10am.

QVCC Collaborates with KPRD to Offer Four-Week Kids Camp

Quinebaug Valley Community College has partnered with the Killingly Parks and Recreation Department (KPRD) to offer an interactive four-week day camp for local students in grades 5-8. Every Wednesday, students visit QVCC’s Danielson campus to participate in a variety of ongoing activities, including interactive classes like Manufacturing Experience, taught by Jodi Clark, Assistant Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, and Rapid Prototyping, taught by Jakob Spjut, Professor of Engineering Science.

CT Army Veteran and QVCC Alum Charles Baird ’18 is helping Professor Spjut with his Rapid Prototyping class. Baird graduated from QVCC in 2018 with dual degrees in Engineering Science and Biomolecular Science. He is currently attending Columbia University where he is pursuing a degree in Data Science. “I come back to QVCC any chance I get to help students and participate in STEM camp. I like to teach and encourage students to have the same passion and opportunities for engineering that I had,” commented Baird. Current student Emily Rosaci is also giving back by helping with Spjut’s class. Rosaci studies Mathematics and is a member of QVCC’s Robotics Club.

In addition to the Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Experience classes, students also participate in nature walks with Mark Szantyr, Professor of Fine Arts, and arts and crafts activities like tie-dying and origami with other QVCC staff members. The camp will continue weekly until Wednesday, August 7.


QVCC Presents at National NASA Student Poster Session

QVCC Quadcopter Team

The Robotics Team from Quinebaug Valley Community College, winner of the last three NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium Community College Quadcopter Challenges, presented at the Student Poster Session of the NASA National Council of Space Grant Directors in Arlington, VA on March 1, 2019.

QVCC Quadcopter Challenge team members include James Laudon ’18, Jacob Parent, Zeke Parent, Emily Rosaci and Andrew Tingley. QVCC was the only community college among eight groups selected from two-year and four-year institutions across the nation. The team made the trip to the Washington, D.C. area with Team Advisor and Space Grant Campus Director, Jakob Spjut to present their work.

Team members and brothers Jacob and Zeke Parent, Woodstock, CT shared that they were fortunate to have met students from all over the country. “To name a few, there were groups from Montana, Oregon, Iowa, and even Alaska,” said Jacob Parent. Zeke Parent shared that the team met representatives from NASA, who are also interested in visiting QVCC to tour the Advanced Manufacturing Center where the quadcopter was created. “We proved to everyone that community colleges have huge potential and can compete at the level of big four-year schools,” said Parent. As members of the Robotics Club at QVCC, Jacob and Zeke agree that the hands-on experience with coding and CAD software has prepared them for real life applications, such as the Student Quadcopter Challenge.

Two QVCC student teams will compete in the 2019 Community College Quadcopter Challenge, hosted by the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium at QVCC in late April.