Hwang speaks at manufacturing summit


State Rep. Tony Hwang addresses those in attendance at the Housatonic Community College Advanced Manufacturing Summit.

State Rep. Tony Hwang was the keynote speaker at the second annual Advanced Manufacturing Summit held at Housatonic Community College 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.

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

“Manufacturing in the area and the nation is leading economic growth,” said Bill Griffin, Housatonic’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.”

“Re. Hwang supported the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Housatonic Community College from its inception,” said Anita Gliniecki, Housatonic president. “As a strong advocate for economic development Rep. 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 Housatonic’s manufacturing education center is a shining example of that educational process.

Mike Gugger, the manufacturing education director at Housatonic, stressed the need for practical educational training and thanked Hwang for his tremendous contributions to the college.

“We at HCC appreciate the assistance and support that Tony has provided on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Program,” he said. “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. Kathy (Schwerdtle) Saint of the Schwerdtle Company thanked Housatonic and Hwang for their great collaborative work.

“We enjoy a strong relationship with HCC and they fill a critical need we have for highly trained staff,” she said. “This program is essential for our growth and competitiveness and I thank Rep. Hwang for his positive contributions and continued support for the program.”

“Manufacturing is a wealth creator and the basis for economic security and independence for our state.” 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.”

The demonstrated importance of Housatonic’s Educational program is obvious to manufacturers and it also applies to help and empower individuals impacted by the dynamic and fast changing job marketplace.

“Employment and education are foundational to the continued vibrancy and economic sustainability of our community,” Hwang said. “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.”

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