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Changing the Face of Tech: Bank of America and HCC Foundation Empower and Connect Individuals to Manufacturing Careers

Published: September 13, 2022
Bill Tommins, president, Bank of America Southern Connecticut, visits with HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing students as the firm just provided a $15K grant to help women and low-income, marginalized populations take steps towards a meaningful career in the field.
Bill Tommins, president, Bank of America Southern Connecticut, visits with HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing students as the firm just provided a $15K grant to help women and low-income, marginalized populations take steps towards a meaningful career in the field.

Bank of America Grant Provides Scholarship Assistance for Women & Low-Income Students

Today, the Housatonic Community College Foundation (HCCF) announced that Bank of America awarded $15,000 to support their Advanced Manufacturing scholarship fund. The funding will directly support low-income students of color and women as they pursue their manufacturing career goals.

Through valuable, skills-based training, Housatonic Community College’s (HCC) Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program prepares students to enter and thrive in a meaningful and high-paying career in this sector. The nine-month program trains future leaders of Connecticut’s manufacturing workforce and assists in placing students into jobs after graduation with a nearly 100% job placement rate.

Bank of America’s grant support for HCC students spans more than two decades, improving financial literacy and creating pathways to manufacturing and engineering careers. This year’s funding will support students participating in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program and those receiving College Connections advancement manufacturing instruction. This dual enrollment opportunity allows high school students to earn college credits toward a certificate in advanced manufacturing. Students from Derby, Bridgeport, and Stratford High Schools are enrolled in the program, and most will be career ready before they reach 20 years of age.

“Bank of America’s partnership with Housatonic Community College is a part of the bank’s ongoing commitment to improving economic mobility and creating long-term and stable career opportunities,” said Bill Tommins, president, Bank of America Southern Connecticut. “HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center is driving the state’s next generation of workers, and we look forward to watching this year’s upcoming class as they gain new skills and advance their careers.”

Claudia, an HCC student who benefitted from this grant, said: “I am the first in my family to graduate from high school and attend college. Thanks to the help of the scholarship, I was able to pay for college and spend more time focused on my studies without fear of putting my education on hold. After earning my Advanced Manufacturing Technology Certificate, one of my goals is to find a job that will allow me to continue my studies to earn an Associate of Science degree. My long-term goal is to become a mechanical engineer.”

With over 4,400 advanced manufacturing companies calling Connecticut home, the industry helps to drive our state’s economy, yet there are thousands of manufacturing jobs unfilled. Today, the industry’s workforce is predominately male, and the most common ethnicity among manufacturing workers is White (, but Bank of America is helping to open the door for all workers.

“This grant funding creates equitable solutions for low-income, marginalized populations of potential students seeking education and workforce development training in the manufacturing sector. We are grateful to Bank of America for their continued support of women and students of color as they take steps to enter this exciting and well-paid workforce,” said Kristy Jelenik, Executive Director of the Housatonic Community College Foundation.

About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

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About the Housatonic Community College Foundation
Founded in 1990 by a team of business and arts leaders from the greater Bridgeport community, the Housatonic Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that solicits, secures and manages contributions from the private sector through individuals, corporations and foundations for the benefit of HCC. The HCC Foundation increases student access and retention at HCC through scholarships, emergency funds, equity programs and much more.

About Housatonic Community College
Serving southern Connecticut for over 50 years, Housatonic Community College (HCC) offers a student-centered, high quality and accessible education through over 75 associate degree programs to prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The college also offers occupational associate degrees and certificate programs, and the non-credit division partners with local business and industry to offer workforce training and customized professional development. HCC is distinguished as an Achieving the Dream Leader Institution and is ranked by the Aspen Institute among the nation’s top 150 community colleges.