With over 500 attendees and 50 manufacturing exhibitors,
the future of Connecticut manufacturing is bright.
A huge crowd turned out to attend Connecticut Manufacturing Day on October 7 in Bridgeport, showing signs that the state’s thriving manufacturing industry is in strong demand. Over 500 attendees and 50 exhibitors participated in the event, which took place on National Manufacturing Day.
Held at Housatonic Community College (HCC), the event exhibitors included three of the state’s largest manufacturers: Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Co.; Electric Boat Corp.; and ASML US, Inc., and was filled with job seekers–a promising indicator for the industry.
“Days like today are crucial,” said Kristina Thoma, Talent Acquisition Operations Manager at Lockheed Martin. “We really like to network with the students and talk with them.”
“We are trying to hire over 3,000 people for our company just this year, and next year we’re going to have to hire even more,” said Emma Pereira, Staffing Coordinator at General Dynamics Electric Boat.
Gone are the days of dirty and dingy manufacturing floors, today’s manufacturers offer high-tech and innovative work environments, with career pathways that are lucrative and rewarding. According to ZipRecruiter, manufacturing salaries in Connecticut range between $55,228 to $104,432 with top earners making $135,561 annually.
“There are three hundred manufacturers in Fairfield County, they employ over 20,000 people, it is our responsibility to make sure that they have their talent pipeline filled,” said Dan Onofrio, President and CEO, Bridgeport Regional Business Council.
Attendees received tours of HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. The 10-month program trains future leaders of Connecticut’s manufacturing workforce and places students into jobs after graduation.
“Today has been a huge success, we’ve had hundreds of high school students come through, they’re getting exposure to manufacturing, learning about it, and seeing the opportunities,” said HCC Professor Adam Scobie.
The event also presented a Maker Faire, offering exciting exhibits and innovative products for sale by student entrepreneurs and young startups.
"Manufacturing provides the greatest source of employment in Connecticut, and could easily hire another 10,000 residents. We were thrilled that so many top companies and job seekers were able to connect," said Mike Roer, President, Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc., who organized the event.
To learn more about Connecticut Manufacturing Day, visit ctmakesit.com/expo. Visit housatonic.edu to learn more about HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program.
Connecticut Manufacturing Day was presented by the City of Bridgeport, Entrepreneurship Foundation, Housatonic Community College, the Housatonic Community College Werth Center For Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Southwest CT Manufacturing Partnership and Bridgeport Regional Business Council, and Mags & Marrelli.
photo credit Mags & Marrelli