Over 1,000 students attend Aerospace Manufacturers showcase to learn about career opportunities

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — More than 1,000 students will meet over 100 top aerospace manufacturers at the Aerospace Alley Future WorkForce Opportunities Fair and Tradeshow in Hartford on Wednesday.

Top suppliers of the region’s aerospace industry in Connecticut and Southwestern Massachusetts, will be at the Connecticut Convention Center, showcasing their abilities to students.

Some students, like John Garcia from Aerospace Magnet, know what his heart wants.

“After high school, I’m definitely going to start looking for jobs in aerospace, engineering, flying planes, and all that,” Garcia told News 8.

The daylong event at the convention center is organized by East Hartford-based consortium, AMC. It’s an effort to connect tomorrow’s employees to today’s jobs.

“It’s a fantastic time to get into manufacturing,” said Glenn Ford, president of Phoenix Manufacturing. “What’s even better is, you don’t need to go to college to make great pay.”

“For instance, a ram air turbine is one of the components that saved all the folks on Sully’s flight when the engines sied,” said Ford. “So without this device, the aircraft wouldn’t have been able to fly and land in the Hudson.”

Glenn Ford’s Phoenix Manufacturing is currently hiring over a dozen second shift employees. He says aerospace is seeing a resurgence after taking a hit amid the pandemic. Now, he’s looking to educate future manufacturers about important parts made in Enfield.

The aerospace manufacturers that were at the event are all hiring.

“It’s important for us to speak to the youth early, get them educated about what career opportunities there are in this industry, and talk to them about what employers are looking for when hiring,” said Taylor.

And attracting more women to a historically male-dominated industry.

“A lot of women need to get into this profession. We need to show that women can be in S.T.E.M. too,” said Nina Garofalo, a senior at Berlin High.

But not everyone was sold.

“This is an opportunity to see why this region is the global hub for aerospace manufacturing,” said Jessica Taylor, executive director of Aerospace Components Manufacturers (ACM). “AMC members boast highly-skilled, productive workforces, and a close-knit network of suppliers committed to unsurpassed quality and on-time deliveries.”

“I’m not a huge fan of aerospace but the technology is certainly interesting,” said Logan Fuhrman, a ninth-grader at Pathways in East Hartford.

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