Joe Sylvestro, Pratt & Whitney's vice president of Manufacturing, presented a check for $125,000 to Goodwin College officials at a ceremony held at the River Street campus in East Hartford, Conn., on Jan. 17. The donation is aimed at helping the college grow its certified production technician (CPT) program and in turn support the development of Connecticut's workforce.
The event was one of two ceremonies held that morning, both in honor and support of the success of this manufacturing initiative, which has been largely funded by Pratt & Whitney. The program, which was established in May of 2013, allows students to earn credentials as certified production technicians from the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council.
"The donation will benefit manufacturers in the state and across the region," said Sylvestro in his remarks to the audience, which was comprised of recent CPT graduates, their employers, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers members and Pratt & Whitney representatives. Fellow speakers Mark Scheinberg, Goodwin College president; Brooke Penders, Goodwin's vice president of Advancement; and U.S. Rep. John Larson were also in attendance.
Sylvestro continued, "It will also support skills development and opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing and technology."
With an expected boom in engine production, more than double by the end of the decade, Sylvestro explained that a growing talent pool will be needed in Connecticut, across the U.S. and around the globe.
"Leading educational institutions here in our state, such as Goodwin College, are an important part in helping support our ongoing production ramp up," he said.
Stanley "Chuck" Rek of Pratt & Whitney was one of the students recognized during a separate ceremony that day. Rek was hired in 1986 in Inspection and is currently a tool, die and gage maker.
"I received six college credits with certifications, which will be counted toward a degree," he said. "They have degrees - a bachelor's in manufacturing and two associate's - one in logistics and the other in quality ... I'm looking into the associate's degree. I may go into the quality aspect of it or manufacturing support."
Rek noted that Pratt & Whitney has been a big donor to the school.
"There's lots of inspection equipment, tools, all sorts of stuff in the classrooms."
Rek was among eight students, two from UTC, who are the first in the state to receive credentials through the 15-week course.
President Scheinberg said the program came about after he received a call from U.S. Rep. Larson, who was concerned that Connecticut manufacturers were struggling to find qualified workers for available jobs. Scheinberg then reached out to local companies, such as Pratt & Whitney, to help develop the program.
For more information on manufacturing program at Goodwin College, visit goodwin.reachlocal.com.