October officially marks Manufacturing Month in Connecticut. The state-wide initiative has been happening since 2011, to call attention to the growing field of manufacturing, and to the innovative, exciting careers within it. Now in its 8th year, Connecticut refers to this campaign as “Connecticut. Dream it. Do it. Manufacturing Month.” This month features a broad range of activities and events to help introduce young people to the many careers offered across the manufacturing field.
Manufacturing Month 2019 kicked off on October 4, as it does every first Friday of October, with Manufacturing Day. According to the CTDiDi website, Manufacturing Day is designed to “show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.” Read on as we share with you the events surrounding this month’s initiative, the current state of manufacturing, and the programs and careers available in this field.
On kick-off day – October 4th – more than 100 middle school students across Connecticut explored the diverse industry of manufacturing through creative, hands-on activities at “Manufacturing Mania” – an event hosted by Goodwin College’s Business & Manufacturing Center.
At Manufacturing Mania, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) and Goodwin College introduced students to potential career options in manufacturing – careers they may not have thought of before, where the possibilities are seemingly endless. Students experienced four sessions that involved an Ice Cream Stick Factory competition, a K’Nex Kompetition, a tour of Goodwin’s Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Lab, and speaking with manufacturers and educators from all over the region.
“The upcoming generation of skilled workers understands that manufacturing has really advanced since the days of dark and dangerous work environments,” said Dr. Cliff Thermer, Goodwin’s Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Business Development and Dean of Business, Management, and Advanced Manufacturing. “Our job as educators is to light the spark of their imaginations, then set them loose to create.”
Manufacturing workers account for nearly 10% of the workforce in Connecticut. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 160,000 manufacturing employees in the state as of 2018, earning an average annual salary of $96,279 in 2017.
Now, these are not the manufacturing employees you might picture working in factories or with dangerous, outdated machinery. Rather, these are employees who are using their minds, their hands, and advanced technology to create high-quality products that we use every day – medical equipment, power tools, computers, vehicles, jet engine parts, and more. They are creating blueprints, using design software, working with state-of-the-art, computer-led machines, and building tangible goods. This is modern manufacturing, with careers more rewarding than ever before.
As our modern world advances more rapidly than ever before, the face of manufacturing, as we know it, is changing. In fact, according to author and professor Klaus Schwab, we are in the middle of an industrial revolution in which robotics, artificial intelligence, green technology, and more are all driving the manufacturing industry forward. We just need talented, skilled, and driven workers to keep it going.
Some of the skills needed to become successful in this industry include:
- Customer Service
- Industrial Safety
- Lean Manufacturing
- Manufacturing Logistics
- Manufacturing Supervision
- Operations Management
- Production Planning and Control
- Quality Management
In addition to being a Manufacturing Mania host, Goodwin College is also one of the top manufacturing and machining schools in the state of Connecticut. Our bachelor, associate, and certificate-level programs are all designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in this ever-evolving field. Students have the opportunity to work with industry-quality equipment, state-of-the-art software and machinery, and to train inside and outside the classroom. Some of the specific manufacturing programs offered at Goodwin College include:
- CNC Machining
- Quality Management
- Supply Chain and Logistics Management
- Manufacturing and Production
- Green Manufacturing
- Metrology and Manufacturing Technology
- Manufacturing Management
In addition to our career-focused manufacturing programs, we also extended career connections for students to get into the field. We understand there is a great need for qualified manufacturing professionals in Connecticut. That is why we maintain partnerships with employers across the state, connecting students with in-field internships first, as well as careers after graduation. The Career Services team at Goodwin College offers free support – for life – in a range of aspects of the job hunt. Whether it’s interview practice, resume writing, or networking assistance, this team of professionals will not rest until you are working in a career that you love.
With education under your belt, you will be ready to jumpstart your exciting career in the dynamic field of manufacturing. Many Goodwin graduates go on to pursue the following careers after finishing school:
- Customer Service Representative
- Facilities Supervisor
- Field Service Representative
- First-Line Supervisor
- Human Resources Administrator
- Inspection Supervisor
- Inventory Manager
- Maintenance Supervisor
- Manufacturing Supervisor
- Production Controller
- Production Planner
- Purchasing Agent
- Quality Manager
- Safety Supervisor
- Shipping & Receiving Supervisor
Manufacturing Month 2019 may be inspiring you to pursue a program – like the ones at Goodwin College – to work in one of these careers someday. Or, it may be inspiring you to learn about the career options available to you, your child, or your friend. There are many myths surrounding manufacturing, but the truth is: it is one of the most rewarding, creative, and exciting paths you can pursue today. It is safe, it is high-tech, and it is a stable option for those looking to launch a successful career.
Learn more about the manufacturing program at Goodwin College and learn why we are a leader in manufacturing education in Connecticut. Call 1-800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.