|Participating in a ribbon-cutting for the new Manufacturing Metrology Lab were (l-r): CETA Dean Lou Manzione, Professor Chittaranjan Sahay, Jesse Boyer of Pratt & Whitney, and J. Michael McQuade of United Technologies Corp.|
|McQuade (left) and Sahay unveil the plaque outside the new lab, which is located in Dana Hall.|
|CETA alumnus Kip Dixon (center) demonstrates a piece of equipment in the new lab to Prof. Sahay (left) and Assistant Provost Fred Sweitzer.|
"The University of Hartford is launching its new Manufacturing Metrology Lab to address critical skill shortages in this enabling technology," said CETA Dean Lou Manzione. "Metrology is the technology of automated precision measurements of complex manufactured parts that can be used to assure rigorous specifications have been attained. It is an enabler of global supply chains since specifications and parts can be exchanged worldwide.
"At the University of Hartford, we have collaborated closely with our regional partners such as Pratt & Whitney to build this state-of-the-art laboratory and prepare our students to assume leadership positions in the development of a world class manufacturing base," Manzione added.
J. Michael McQuade, senior vice president, science and technology, at United Technologies Corp., spoke at the opening event and echoed Dean Manzione’s comments about the critical need for the Manufacturing Metrology Lab. “Pratt & Whitney plans to begin building jet engines at a rate that we haven’t seen since the 1980s, but that has created a workforce capacity problem,” McQuade said, noting that to build this next generation of jet engines will require a manufacturing workforce that has the necessary high-quality training.
That training will be offered in a four-course “Certificate in Manufacturing Metrology” program offered by the University and centered in the new Manufacturing Metrology Lab. The lab and the certificate program “are really emblematic of a partnership that goes back a long way," McQuade said, noting that there are more than 200 Pratt & Whtiney employees who have graduated from CETA.
Also celebrating the new lab and the need it will fill in training the Connecticut manufacturing workforce of the future were State Senators Gary LeBeau and Steve Cassano. “This partnership helps us resolve one of the key dilemmas facing Connecticut — local companies are turning down contracts because they don’t have enough workers to be able to fulfill them, and yet we have an unemployment rate of eight percent,” said Cassano.
“We have the brain power here to do quality manufacturing work and we need to keep it. We need to keep it going and growing,” said LeBeau.
After the remarks, which included congratulations from a representative of U.S. Rep. John Larson, guests were given a demonstration of some of the equipment, provided by such firms as Nikon, Zygo, Faro Arm, and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), in the new Manufacturing Metrology Lab. The morning-long program concluded with a panel discussion on workforce development featuring representatives of government, industry and workers.