Rep. Tony Hwang (R-134 Fairfield, Trumbull), an advocate of both local community colleges and advanced manufacturing job creation was the keynote speaker of the second annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit held at Housatonic Community College (HCC) in Bridgeport. The focus of the summit was on bringing manufacturers and resources together to educate the process of educating properly skilled workforce to compete in a global manufacturing marketplace.

HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Education Center was created through the collaborative efforts of educators, manufacturers and legislative leaders. The collaborators priority was create an educated workforce trained in the latest technology and manufacturing processes for state manufacturing companies.

“Manufacturing in the area and the nation is leading economic growth,” said Bill Griffin, HCC’s academic coordinator, who spearheaded the drive for the new manufacturing center and the program. “Through the application of state-of-the-art technology, manufacturers are more competitive and they need to hire more skilled workers with advanced manufacturing skills. HCC's Advanced Manufacturing Program is designed to meet this industry need.

“Representative Hwang supported the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Housatonic Community College from its inception,” said HCC President Gliniecki. “As a strong advocate for economic development Representative Hwang recognizes the need for HCC to provide the education and training to individuals seeking employment in the manufacturing sector and the manufacturing companies need for an educated workforce to be competitive.”

Practical and real world training is essential to producing a competitive workforce and HCC’s manufacturing education center is a shining example of that educational process. Mike Gugger, the Manufacturing Education Director at HCC stressed the need for practical educational training and thanked Rep. Hwang.  “We at HCC appreciate the assistance and support that Tony has provided on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Program.  He has been an outstanding advocate for our program.”

Manufacturers were the impetus for the educational center and remain an active partner as board members that serve as advisors and curriculum/training design.

“Manufacturing is a wealth creator and the basis for economic security and independence for our state.”  Rep Hwang said. “The success of manufacturing is also essential in maintaining our high standard of living and quality of life. Educators, manufacturers and legislative leaders, need to re-focus our collaborative efforts to work together to build a vibrant economic model of manufacturing success that will continue and thrive into the 22nd century.

“Employment and education are foundational to the continued vibrancy and economic sustainability of our community,” said Rep. Hwang. “On a personal level for the unemployed and under-employed, it is a pathway out of economic uncertainty toward financial security. Intrinsically, it helps build self-esteem and confidence to actively pursue the American dream of self-reliance and economic independence.”