CCSU Interns Help 'Move the Needle' in Quality as Ramp-Up Approaches

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As Pratt & Whitney prepares for the increase in production demand with the next generation product family, it is also enlisting support and ideas from the next generation of the work force.

The company regularly works with technical schools, colleges and universities to increase the pipeline of qualified students to build potential future employees' awareness of careers in the aerospace Quality Engineering field.

One such relationship is with Central Connecticut State University. Students selected by Pratt & Whitney for the program receive a scholarship equivalent to CCSU's in-state semester tuition and a book scholarship of $500 per semester.

"In addition to the scholarship support, the program provides intensive academic advisement and mentoring, job shadowing opportunities and summer and/or academic year work experiences," according to Mike Wilson, Pratt & Whitney's CCSU Quality Engineering Leadership program champion.

Recent successful interns include Elvis Alexander, who spent a summer improving his Quality Engineering skills as a Materials Quality Control Lab technician; and Danielle DuPlessis, who completed her first summer internship at the Middletown Engine Center, where she worked on a critical project to improve tool control and compliance for the commercial assembly area.

Alexander, with the support of his team, reduced the Standards Lab backlog by 15 percent. "From a quality standpoint, this service is critical to ensure our instrumentation meets or exceeds product specifications, safety requirements and most importantly our customer expectations," he explained.

DuPlessis added, "Walking the process for tooling control, you don't realize how many tools and toolboxes the Engine Center has, until you see it first-hand. I am so honored that I was given the opportunity to participate on something that is so vital to our Engine Center's operations." While participating in the internship, DuPlessis helped reduce tool-control turnbacks by 50 percent.

"These interns are making contributions in specific areas within our quality value stream," Wilson said. "We expect that many will leave a legacy as we work together to move the needle in improving the effectiveness of our processes and the quality of our products."

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