Once in a generation, circumstances align that make it possible for society to move forward in previously unimagined ways — for those who have their eyes open and are ready to commit to the work.

Connecticut’s manufacturing sector faces a shortage of skilled workers, with predictions of more than 13,000 positions needing to be filled. With manufacturing accounting for nearly one-eighth of Connecticut’s economy, addressing this critical need calls for a true team effort. Manufacturing and education must work together to ensure that there are realistic opportunities to become part of this movement, whether for students considering the many career options available to them in manufacturing, or for seasoned workers hoping to increase their skills, stay current with industry trends and advance their careers.

This team effort can succeed if we create more partnerships between manufacturers and colleges, not only in developing curriculum, but also in actively training the next generation of skilled workers. We need young people to understand that training as a computer-numerical control (CNC) machinist, quality inspector, or supply-chain and logistics technician is a great start to a lifelong career — and that training can often be accomplished in a surprisingly short time.

To students reading this publication, I encourage you to learn as much as possible about the new world of careers opening up in manufacturing, and I invite you to visit our Business and Manufacturing Center in East Hartford to see how we’re collaborating with tomorrow’s makers and entrepreneurs.

To business owners and incumbent workers, I hope you will continue to engage in the exciting, ongoing conversations that empower industry and education to work together to strengthen Connecticut’s place on the world manufacturing stage. It is our collective vision, creativity, and understanding that will propel us into the future.

Mark Scheinberg

President, Goodwin College