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RCNGM | Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing


Regional Center for Next
Generation Manufacturing
Farmington, CT

Karen Wosczyna-Birch
Principal Investigator (PI)
(860) 723-0608
A test technician inspects LED lights for police cars.

The number of STEM certificates and AS degrees awarded continues to rise in Connecticut community colleges.

A student uses a grinding machine with a polishing wheel to smooth a finished part.

RCNGM Expands Career Opportunities

The primary impact of the RCNGM has been to make students, educators, and other persons involved in career choices aware of the opportunities available in advanced manufacturing. In 2014 more than 700 students earned certificates or degrees in RCNGM programs at Connecticut community colleges.

RCNGM builds interest in manufacturing through faculty externships that provide educators with insights into technicians’ work at local industry facilities, career expos that give students the opportunity to meet manufacturers, and marketing materials that feature manufacturing careers. Since the RCNGM’s creation in 2004, enrollment in Connecticut manufacturing programs has increased 190% from 598 to 1,733 students.

Industry Input Equals Successful Output

In 2014 RCNGM, in collaboration with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), surveyed 246 local manufacturers regarding workforce needs. The results reported that 99% of the manufacturers hire graduates from Connecticut community colleges; 72% of them reported higher than average satisfaction with Connecticut community college graduates.

A well-prepared workforce can be credited to RCNGM initiatives such as faculty externships in industry. Externship participants develop curriculum that is incorporated into the College of Technology (COT), a statewide initiative that includes all 12 Connecticut community colleges.

RCNGM Impacts Connecticut, New England & Nation

In 2015 the RCNGM organized the first Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire where 1,500 attendees participated in entrepreneurial activities highlighting “making” and next-generation manufacturing.

The COT model was leveraged for both state funds and US Department of Labor grant funds to create or expand manufacturing centers in seven Connecticut community colleges.

RCNGM works with regional partners to ensure the growth of advanced manufacturing in New England and to disseminate nationally promising practices such as professional development initiatives that are open to faculty throughout the US.