21 Oct

HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program Builds Support For Students During National Manufacturing Month

Streaming Online October 9

Creating a talent pipeline for one of Connecticut’s key economic drivers.

October is National Manufacturing Month, and as the home to over 4,400 manufacturers, Connecticut is a center for manufacturing innovation. To help grow the talent pool for this key driver of our state’s economy, Housatonic Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) program prepares the next generation of workers with substantial backing from community partners.

The Housatonic Community College (HCC) AMTC program is an intense, 9-month certificate program that provides students with practical knowledge and hands-on experience, creating a direct career path to the manufacturing industry. Most students are placed swiftly into jobs after graduation, because right now, thousands of well-paying manufacturing jobs are available in Connecticut, but there is a shortfall in trained workers.

Recognizing that women are underrepresented in almost every manufacturing sector in the U.S., the Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded a grant to the HCC Foundation to support females interested in pursuing a career in the field.

“Matching workforce training partnerships and apprenticeships that prepare students and displaced workers with high demand technical skills with high-demand local manufacturing opportunities are a win-win for local business and our communities,” said Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut market president for Bank of America. “We are proud to continue to grow our long-term partnership with Housatonic Community College that focuses on creating employment opportunities that provide for economic mobility and put students on a path to long-term financial stability and success.”

For many students, the program is a lifeline to a brighter future. Erika Cuellar was a seafood restaurant manager earning $10 per hour before entering the AMTC program. Today she works at McMellon Bros in Stratford, CT earning upwards of $60 per hour.

“I’m glad I made my decision to enter the AMTC program because I really enjoy life now. I have a great job and plan to buy a house. Manufacturing has definitely changed my life.”

Currently more than 50 students are enrolled in the AMTC program, including the high school College Connections Program and there is a waitlist. To meet this demand, HCC will be creating a first-ever spring 2021 cohort that will continue through August.

Manufacturers throughout the state are partnering with AMTC to aid its success and build pipelines for talent. They advise on the program’s content and training to keep practices current with the needs of the industry, and also accept graduates into jobs.

Each year firms also provide critical funds for student scholarships through HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Hall of Fame (AMHoF) event. Despite not having the annual event this fall which usually attracts hundreds of guests, long-time sponsors and donors remain committed to HCC’s manufacturing students and recognize the urgent and continued need to support them and the AMTC program. So far, this year’s AMHoF donors include Founding Diamond sponsor blumshapiro, Moore Tool, The Barden Foundation, Inc., Ashcroft, Newtown Savings Bank, and the John Klein Leadership Fund.

“The manufacturing industry needs our graduates to help fuel the economy, yet many of our students need financial assistance to enter the program, especially now during this unprecedented time. We are grateful to our supporters who are committed to changing lives, investing in the program and furthering the industry,” said Kristy Jelenik, Executive Director of the HCC Foundation.

To learn more about HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center program, contact Felisha Guirand-Fleurimond at or call 203-332-5975. To learn more about the Housatonic Community College Foundation and how you can support scholars, please visit www.housatonic.edu or call 203-332-5078.

About Housatonic Community College Foundation

Founded in 1990 by a team of business and arts leaders from the greater Bridgeport community, the HCC 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 distributes resources in the form of full and partial scholarships to students with proven academic performance and demonstrated financial need.

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 about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

Bank of America has delivered more than $2 billion in philanthropic investments since 2009, with approximately $250 million in 2019 alone. In April 2019, the company announced a $5 billion Bank of America Community Homeownership Commitment™ to benefit low- and moderate-income homebuyers and communities across the U.S. over the next five years. Also in 2019, Bank of America Community Development Banking provided a record $4.88 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions. Between 2005 and 2019, Bank of America financed 202,800 affordable housing units. To meet the unique needs of its 12 million small business owners, the company provides advice, solutions and dedicated support. Bank of America maintained its position as the nation’s top small business lender at the end of 2019, with $38.9 billion in total outstanding small business loan balances (defined as business loans in original amounts of $1 million and under), up 7% year over year.

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

Caption For Photo Above: Housatonic Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center program prepares the next generation of workers with substantial backing from community partners.