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Ct College Of Technology's Nsf Ate Regional Center For Next Generation Manufacturing

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Innovative Lower Division Programs

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.376.1 - 11.376.9



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Paper Authors


Karen Wosczyna-Birch CT College of Technology

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Karen Wosczyna-Birch has been a champion of engineering and technology education for the past 25 years. She has been the state director of the CT College of technology where through her leadership she has been instrumental in creating a nationally recognized seamless pathway between all 12 two year colleges in CT with six university and college technology and engineering programs. She has received numerous awards and grants and has been recognized for her accomplishments as a professor and for her passion for increasing the diversity of the engineering and technology population. Most recently, she has received a NSF ATE grant to establish a next generation manufacturing center under the umbrella of the College of Technology.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Next Generation Manufacturing in Connecticut’s College of Technology

Karen Wosczyna-Birch, Mary deManbey CT College of Technology CT Business and Industry Association

The northeastern region of the United States, including Connecticut, is at the forefront of the global transformation in manufacturing. Its prominence in the design and manufacture of aerospace systems (United Technologies: Pratt and Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, Sikorsky, and Kaman), laser technologies (Trumpf, Coherent Deos); and its pioneering leadership in the hydrogen economy and fuel cells (Proton Energy Systems, Fuel Cells Energy, and UTC Fuel Cells) and medial instrumentation (Becton Dickinson) are critical to the U.S. economy.

To be successful these industries have embraced a global supply chain and a rate of technology change that presents enormous challenges to the regional workforce. Between 1990 and 2000, although aerospace manufacturing employment in Connecticut dropped by 45%, productivity increased and wages for the average aerospace manufacturing worker went up 63% to $68,737. As the manufacturing workforce ages there will be a need to replace these highly skilled & highly paid workers as well as for continuous upgrading in worker capabilities.

The National Association of Manufacturers notes, in their recent report “Keeping America Competitive: How a Talent Shortage Threatens American Manufacturing” that there will be a projected need for 10 million new skilled workers by 2020. They believe that “A long-term manufacturing employment and skill crisis is developing, one with ominous implications for the economy and national security.” Given the significant job losses in manufacturing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract a new generation of young people into advanced technological education programs, which would prepare them for high skill; high wage jobs (National Association of Manufacturers). Manufacturing is severely challenged by old negative images about the factory floor and an education and training system that does not promote engineering and technology careers. New strategic alliances between education and industry will be required to both market manufacturing careers and prepare youth and adults for the highly skilled team structure in today’s manufacturing sites.

Next Generation Manufacturing: The transformation of global manufacturing was clarified in a 1995 to 1997 study co-sponsored by NSF and other federal agencies. The culminating report “Next Generation Manufacturing” concluded that manufacturing companies must transform themselves into “agile enterprises” that operate by adding value into extended supply

Wosczyna-Birch, K. (2006, June), Ct College Of Technology's Nsf Ate Regional Center For Next Generation Manufacturing Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--489

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