September 15, 2014

Contact: Christopher R. Carollo
Executive Director for the HCC Foundation, Inc.
Housatonic Community College
(203) 332-5078

Sikorsky Aircraft Provides Grant
TO HCC Advanced Manufacturing Program

Stratford, CT, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation has awarded a $15,000 grant to the Housatonic Community College Foundation for the College’s Advanced Manufacturing Program. The announcement coincides with the program beginning its third year at the college.

Susan Hitchcock, Manager of Community Affairs at Sikorsky, said, “The grant will directly go toward scholarships and programing to benefit Housatonic Community College manufacturing students.”

“This is a great opportunity for the Foundation and the College to illustrate that our mission is dependent on support for these specialized programs from the private sector community. We are fortunate that Governor Malloy saw the need for the Advanced Manufacturing Center and helped establish it here two years ago,” said Chris Carollo, Executive Director of the Foundation.

The Advanced Manufacturing Machine Technology Certificate is designed to provide students with the advanced manufacturing skills for those seeking employment in machine technology and CNC manufacturing environments. Students develop advanced manufacturing skills in mathematics, blueprint reading, principles of quality control, lathe I and II, milling I and II, and CNC I and II. Students spend approximately half their time in classroom activities and half in hands-on activities in the college’s new Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Bridgeport Campus.

“We are doing very well in placing our students in jobs as soon as they complete their course of study,” said Ken Lisk, Vice-President of the Foundation and a member of the Advisory Board to the Program.

“We have currently placed 76% of the students who have completed the course of study over the last two years in manufacturing jobs. That exceeds our goal of 72%, and the range of starting salaries for these positions is between $32,000 and $45,000. We have had spouses go through the program together, which means you now have a household making around $80,000 a year after 18 months of training,” Lisk added.

“If there is one thing we know, given the rich history of manufacturing in the greater Bridgeport area, it’s that manufacturing jobs bring stability to the community and help create other jobs,” said Paul Timpanelli, President of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council.

“There is no doubt that in any conversation about economic regional development I have had in the last six months, the importance of getting manufacturing back on track here is front and center,” Timpanelli added.

“We are very conscious of the significance of where we are located and of the history of manufacturing in the region,” said Shane Eddy, Senior Vice President of Operations at Sikorsky.

“Our community work is important to our employees and it’s important to our management. We’re pleased that we can continue to support the Foundation as we have for many years, as the manufacturing program obviously plays very close to home for us,” Eddy added.

For more details on the mission of the Housatonic Community College Foundation, please go to www.hcc.commnet.edu/hccf. For more information and/or press access to the individuals named in this release, please contact Chris Carollo by e-mail or phone.