29 Mar

A conversation with Adam Scobie

Assistant Professor of Manufacturing
Advanced Manufacturing Interim Program Coordinator

Adam Scobie’s manufacturing career began at age 15. His dad, HCC Instructor George Scobie, owns MRH Tool in Milford, and would pay Adam to run some of the machines.

“After a while I realized not only was I enjoying it, but I was also pretty good at it. It just really stuck,” said Adam.

After high school, Adam enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at the University of Maine. When he interned at a drafting house one summer, he recognized that he didn’t want to sit behind a computer most of the day, and that mechanical engineering wasn’t right for him.

He turned his focus to manufacturing. Working at MRH, Adam made parts for jet engines, port lights for boats and naval ships and other parts required by clients. He also did sidework, working for other machine shops that needed help with programming their machines.

In November 2017 Adam joined HCC as an instructor of Manufacturing Technology in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. He teaches CNC, Metrology and Blueprint reading courses.

“One of my favorite things about Housatonic is that everyone there just cares so much. I really love the Housatonic community.”

His favorite part of the job is seeing the students’ transformation.

“Most students that we get know absolutely nothing about manufacturing. They’re trying to change their lives – it’s a nine-month program, it’s almost guaranteed employment, so they just try it. It’s a joy watching them come in kind of afraid when they walk into the shop, and by the end of the school year we can hand them a blueprint and they know what to do. It’s great watching people grow like that.”

The program’s ability to improve people’s lives most touches Adam’s heart.

“It’s great having students come back and say ‘I bought my whole family a house.’ You have these conversations when they’re with you and they’re talking about how they wish they could do that, and then they graduate, come back, and literally their lives have changed. It’s really rewarding.”

The stories HCC graduates tell at the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame events bring Adam to tears.

“I’ve been to two of them so far, and it’s a good thing that the lights were turned down because I ended up crying at my table because I was so touched by what the students were saying about how their lives changed. I don’t think I’ll ever forget those student stories.”

Adam is one of the instructors that is currently teaching Housatonic’s first-ever spring cohort that began earlier this month.

“Manufacturing is booming, and we’re constantly hearing about how many jobs there are to fill, but based on space we’re only putting out 40-60 graduates each year – it’s barely scratching the needs of manufacturers. It’s great that we are able to get another cohort going. I wouldn’t mind getting two evening cohorts going in the future.”

Adam has goals of developing advanced level courses for HCC graduates and incumbent workers. He’s developing a CNC3 course, and wants to develop an advanced metrology course. Additionally, he would like to develop a course on tool and die making – a niche in southwestern Connecticut manufacturing.

Today, in addition to teaching and doing work at his shop, Adam is going back to school to pursue that Mechanical Engineering degree. He’s currently taking math and science classes at Housatonic, and has plans to ultimately transfer to UB’s engineering program. Adam enjoys spending time spending time with his fiancé Valeria and his son, Clyde, who was born last spring during the pandemic quarantine, and is on the verge of walking.