Manufacturing industry boosted by new training center

Governor Ned Lamont and Pete Finnigan, Senior Composites Researcher at Pratt & Whitney Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

EAST HARTFORD, CT – State officials and manufacturers, including Pratt & Whitney, hope a composite training facility unveiled at Goodwin University and publicly and privately funded on Tuesday will help Connecticut manufacturers respond to manpower needs in the years to come.

Governor Ned Lamont visited the recently completed Advanced Composites Technology Center during an afternoon stop at the university. A towering robotic arm looms behind security barriers in the center’s white-walled room. The arm will help students master modern technology used to engrave aircraft components from composite materials.

Pete Finnigan, senior composites researcher at Pratt & Whitney, said technology from the lab is being used to make cutting-edge parts for aircraft engines. Although the equipment is designed to automate the creation of these parts, Finnigan told reporters it would help create a new generation of manufacturing jobs.

“It cuts down on the number of man hours it takes to do it, but it doesn’t eliminate the job per se, because you need people to build the equipment, operate the equipment, maintain the equipment, program. equipment, ”said Finnigan. “It’s a different skill set.

Shane Eddy, director of operations at Pratt & Whitney, said the collaboration would be key to training Connecticut’s future manufacturing workforce and helping the engine manufacturer conduct research.

“We hope this lab will enable Pratt & Whitney to better perform government-funded research by bringing together universities, material suppliers, government labs and industry in one central facility,” said Eddy.

The laboratory was funded by a public-private partnership. Ron Angelo, president of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, said the public share of funding for the project is around $ 5 million.

“These are the types of partnerships that will define Connecticut’s manufacturing ecosystem, not just in the state but in the region, in the decades to come,” Angelo said.

Lamont said students working in the composite center will have access to state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.

“When it comes to defense and aviation, you can’t stand still,” Lamont said. “You have to stay far ahead of the competition. For Connecticut, I must tell you that we will do everything we can to support you and that is the goal of this partnership.

Milton S. Rodgers

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