Williston, VT – On the same day that National Manufacturing Day is celebrated across the country, Vermont Technical College hosted Vermont’s Congressman Peter Welch and representatives from our federal delegation to speak at its ribbon-cutting event, celebrating the opening of the Williston advanced manufacturing lab on October 6, 2017. The ceremony began at noon with opening remarks by President Patricia Moulton, followed by Congressman Peter Welch and representatives from the Senators Sanders’ and Leahy’s offices. Commissioner Joan Goldstein also attended as the State has proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in recognition of the impact of the industry on the state’s economy, job opportunities and innovation.
At the event, Congressman Welch noted, “There are a lot of really good jobs, waiting to be filled. We‘ve got to provide training so people who have the skills and want the jobs are able to walk in and be productive members of the team at that new employer.”, Chris Saunders, Legislative Assistant from Senator Leahy’s office, added, “VTC is at the top of the list of helping Vermont close the skills gap.” Speaking on behalf of Senator Sanders, Outreach Staff member Haley Pero said, “We're thrilled that Vermont Tech is able to use federal Department of Labor funds to offer no-cost training and support services to parents who seek a livable wage.” She went on to say, “that an award-winning state college is making it easier for working families to get ahead is very important.”
October 6th is National Manufacturing Day, a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Vermont Tech opened their doors to the public from 11am-2pm in their new manufacturing teaching lab space and mobile lab on the Williston campus in celebration of the day. The public toured Vermont Tech’s newly renovated facility and mobile lab unit, speaking with current students and faculty, and saw demonstrations of applied learning opportunities in design, testing, reverse engineering, additive manufacturing, and operations. Other companies and educators that attended the event included Preci Manufacturing of Winooski, Global Foundries of Essex Junction, Vermont Microtechnologies of Barnet, Hayward Tyler of Colchester, Randolph Technical Career Center, e-STEM Solutions of Manchester, NH, Intelitek of Derry, NH and VMEC advisors.
The renovations to the Williston lab and addition of the mobile lab were made possible by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Strengthening Working Families Initiative (SWFI) grant provided to Vermont Tech earlier this year. Through the grant, Vermont Tech and its partners will provide no-cost training and wrap-around services for Vermont working families with a focus on the manufacturing sector. This training and support will give parents and guardians the training, skills, and assistance they need to provide more stability for their families on a pathway to a new career.
More information about the SWFI program is available here.
Photos from the events are available on Vermont Tech’s Flikr site.