Ribbon cut on Derby High School’s new advanced manufacturing center

New Haven

Some Derby High School students are getting some help for their future.

“Engineering is definitely in mine,” said sophomore Michael Hernandez.

“I’m hoping to go into quality control,” sophomore Tatiana Vicens said.

Houstatonic Community College, and Asnuntuck Community College are helping to start students early on their career paths in manufacturing. Starting in the fall, high school students will be able to use the new advanced manufacturing center to take college level classes.

“They’re not only earning a certificate in manufacturing, but they’re earning college credits towards an associates degree in mechanical or machine technology,” said Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center Program Director Joe Duhaime.

All this is part of the state’s effort to fill a need. Manufacturing companies are always complaining they can’t find local workers with the proper training to operate this kind of high tech equipment. Joe teaches students these skills and hears from prospective employers all the time.

“All the companies, they call me weekly or sometimes daily looking for when the students will be available, when they’re going to graduate the program, how soon can I get somebody?” Duhaime said.

And they are offering jobs that pay pretty well. All students need is the chance to learn. With the ribbon cut today, they now have it. 

“Very helpful for us to get hands on before we actually go into the workforce,” said Vicens.

“I know I like a lot of hands on things, so this helps me learn quicker and learn new material for engineering,” Hernandez said.

It’s not just high school students who are going to benefit from this. In the evenings, that manufacturing center will host adult education classes for grown-ups who want to hone their skills, or learn new ones.

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