Legislators Learn about the Expansion of Manufacturing Programs

On Monday, January 27, Three Rivers Community College hosted a Legislative Update that included a thorough briefing on the expansion of both credit and non-credit Three Rivers manufacturing programs. In attendance were State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), State Representative Doug Dubitsky (R-47), State Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), and State Representative Gregg Haddad (D-54), as well as local business and school leaders, Three Rivers College Foundation Board Members, members of manufacturing associations, and faculty, staff, and students from the College.

Student Panel at Legislative UpdateErin Sullivan, Acting Director of Non-Credit Programs; Brett Jacobson, Manufacturing Apprenticeship Center Director; and Mark Vesligaj, Professor of Engineering Science, spoke to the growth of their respective programs. Sullivan emphasized the variety of non-credit certificates and programs that allow students to move directly into employment upon completion. Jacobson explained how the College partners with manufacturing associations as well as with specific businesses to create classes tailored to meet the employment needs of companies like Electric Boat. Jacobson went on to discuss the projected growth of the number and types of programs that Three Rivers can offer with the advent of the new state-of-the-art Three Rivers Manufacturing Apprenticeship Center.

Covering the credit side of the manufacturing programs, Vesligaj discussed the multiple degree and certificate programs that allow students to begin working immediately or transfer on to continue their education at 4-year institutions. He stressed the explosive manufacturing growth that has occurred in Eastern Connecticut over the past four years and how Three Rivers has responded with a diversified approach to meet the needs of the expanding industry.

The program also included a panel of three former students who have graduated from different manufacturing programs at the College. Sara Armas attended Three Rivers as an Engineering Science student and has transferred on to UConn as a Manufacturing Engineering & Management (MEM) major. Wendy Gentile is a graduate of the Manufacturing Pipeline and is now a welder at Electric Boat, and Benjamin Collison has graduated from the Youth Manufacturing Pipeline and will soon be working as an Outside Electrician at Electric Boat. All three felt that their programs had prepared them for their next step to a job or continuing education.

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