Amanda Sullivan: Manufacturing – “It’s a lot more fun than people would expect.”

Amanda Sullivan, 23, works in Torrington, Connecticut, as an operator at FuelCell Energy, “a global leader in providing ultra-clean baseload distributed generation to utilities, industrial operators, universities, municipal water treatment facilities, government installations, and other customers globally.”

Sullivan lives in Tolland, Massachusetts, and commutes to Connecticut for work and school. She enrolled in Goodwin’s Quality Management Systems associate degree program to advance in her career and maintain job stability. “My employer covers a portion of my schooling as long as I earn an A or a B in my classes.”

Sullivan explained that her job isn’t what most people would imagine: “I like working on machines. I love the people. I love the job. It’s a lot more fun than people would expect,” Sullivan stated. “I’m constantly doing new things and, at the end of the day, it’s rewarding to look at all I’ve accomplished.”

At one point, Sullivan’s father, mother, sister, and brother were all employed in manufacturing at Howmet Corp Machining Center in Winsted. Her father works as a process engineer making jet engines and her sister works in the Environmental Health and Safety department; previously her mother worked in Human Resources and her brother worked in IT.

“Manufacturing is a good career choice because there are jobs out there,” Sullivan commented. “Women can do this job too. I have a female boss and I work with women in my department.”

Sullivan works the third shift from 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. and comes to classes during the day. “To succeed in this field, you need to be dedicated and enjoy what you do,” she explained. “To keep jobs in America, we need to keep quality products here.”

The experienced teachers and new machinery at Goodwin College are preparing her for advancement. “I want to continue my education and get my bachelor’s degree in either management or engineering.”