There is nothing more important than inspiring students to make their dreams a reality, while also securing the future of our state, regional and national economy.

Connecticut is a bustling state with almost 4,000 manufacturing companies and nearly 160,000 people working in manufacturing. With a long history of manufacturing and technology innovation starting from the 18th century to present day, we see Connecticut at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and leading-edge technology development, continuing to apply state-of-the-art capabilities and techniques across broad industry sectors. Through the increasing state-of-the-art machinery comes the need for qualified, skilled workers. Due to this need, we must come together to combine education, workforce, manufacturing and technology to make the future as bright as it can be.

Students across the state are preparing for these bright futures in manufacturing and technology careers, and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) is excited to be a part of that. As president and CEO, I am fortunate enough to witness hundreds of these inspired students come together to get involved and ask questions about manufacturing careers. In 2018-19 school year, 1,700-plus middle school students took part in instructional manufacturing and STEM-related programming. Additionally, more than 200 students statewide attended our summer Young Manufacturing Academies and 350 participated in two major Manufacturing Month events.

CCAT’s Education & Workforce Development team has our future in mind. CCAT is a nonprofit that provides services and resources to industry, academia, entrepreneurs and government. We work with the manufacturing and technology community to enhance employer engagement and provide critical assistance to job seekers. CCAT creates curriculum and implements programs for middle- and high-school students interested in STEM-based careers. Our hands-on workshops, company site visits and learning activities provide and foster an environment that proves to students, families, friends and educators that there is reason to believe success awaits after graduation. As an approved training provider and licensed test center, CCAT also delivers pre-apprenticeship training and administers basic and technical skills assessments for core manufacturing competencies, resulting in industry-recognized credentials.

As the state license holder and coordinator of Connecticut Dream It. Do It., a part of the National Manufacturing Association and Manufacturing Institute’s nationwide campaign, we are part of a national initiative promoting manufacturing career awareness. We are proud of the programs that have reached hundreds of students, such as the Young Manufacturers Academy, and are excited for the widespread activities each October as a part of the Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. Manufacturing Month to highlight the many career opportunities.

Each student reading this has the chance to make his or her dreams a reality with manufacturing and technology, embracing the ability to be creative, innovative, to make a difference and earn a great salary. Opportunities have never been more accessible and available and CCAT is happy to help.

Ron Angelo

President & CEO, CCAT