To inspire interest in a career path in manufacturing and engineering, Pratt & Whitney recently opened its doors to a group of 18 middle school students for a tour of the campus and facility. The students were given an hour-long tour through Pratt & Whitney's Hot Section Module Center in East Hartford, Connecticut, where they learned about advanced coating applications, root and vane grinding, and automation using robotics.
The students were part of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology's Young Manufacturer's Academy, designed to encourage young students to consider pursuing an education and future career in manufacturing. Pratt & Whitney employees also recently participated in a Young Manufacturer's Academy "mock" career fair held at Goodwin College, with a group of 20 students who completed the two-week Young Manufacturer's Academy program. The Pratt & Whitney-sponsored event brought together students and their parents and highlighted the importance of programs like the Young Manufacturer's Academy to the future of the manufacturing and engineering industry. Students dressed in business attire and met with representatives of local companies and educational institutions to discuss their experience with the program and learn about each of the participating manufacturers.
Jeff Smith, product director, Hot Section Module Center, was the keynote speaker and shared examples of Pratt & Whitney's technology and growth with the students. Pratt & Whitney is constantly developing and innovating, and with the increase in production ahead there is opportunity and need for a skilled workforce, he told them.
"These kids are so excited and eager to learn. It's teachable moments like this that remind me why I love working at Pratt & Whitney and allow me to showcase the advances in technology and inspire the next generation of talent," Smith said. "Programs like these are helping to the raise the bar and bring awareness to opportunities in manufacturing and engineering worldwide."
During the two-week Young Manufacturer's Academy program, students participated in workshops involving robotics, 3D printing, and lean manufacturing while also getting the opportunity to visit the facilities and see the work first-hand.
"Because of this program, students understand that manufacturing jobs are safe, clean, highly-skilled, and fulfilling," said Susan Palisano, director of Education and Workforce Development at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology. "Many are now considering careers in this field, fueling the next generation's skilled workforce pipeline."