Asnuntuck Community College held a groundbreaking for its 27,000 square foot Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center building on Wednesday. The facility will include smart classrooms, along with computer, 3-D printer, CNC machining and metrology laboratories. Asnuntuck Community College President, James Lombella, told those gathered for the ceremony that the facility will address the continued need to provide the region with a skilled workforce. The new building, coupled with the existing space, will result in a total of 50,000 square feet of dedicated space for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology department.

President Lombella praised the center’s director for the program’s success. “We tip our hard hats to Frank Gulluni.”  President Lombella is looking forward to the completion of the building and the opportunities that will be made available to students in the area. “At Asnuntuck, we not only own the responsibility of delivering a quality in education in North Central Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, we take great pride in creating leaders and graduates who enter the world and make a difference.”

Connecticut State College and University President Mark Ojakian told the audience that his office is continuing to work on ways to get the word out about the educational opportunities available through Advanced Manufacturing Technology programs throughout the state. “This new facility provides our students with state of the art technology, resources and the environment they need and deserve to continue to succeed,” said President Ojakian.

United States Senator Richard Blumenthal shared the importance of having a skilled workforce available to manufacturing businesses in Connecticut. He praised the $10 million dollar building project. “It is an investment that will yield returns for all of us.” The Senator spoke of the important work companies throughout the State are doing for government contracts. “Our national security depends on these workers.”

State Senator John Kissel said, “We have worked hard to make sure this program could grow.” He said, “This little engine that could has impressed people beyond the borders I cover.” He added that impact goes beyond providing a building for students to study in. He talked about the employment that projects at the college have provided to area workers.

In addition to the new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, the college is also undergoing a façade upgrade, which includes the addition of a conference center, a cyber café and meeting space for student organizations.

Pasquale “Bud” Salemi, Deputy Commissioner for the State of Connecticut Division of Construction Services gave the audience an overview of the building’s features. “This is the latest in design,” Salemi told the audience. The exterior portion of the building will have insulated precast concrete panels, having a limestone appearance, with partial applied anodized metal panels and exterior metal louvered sun shading trellis assembly. The interior will feature a polished exposed concrete floor and the ceiling will have acoustical ceiling tiles and there will be exposed painted ceilings.

President of Aerospace Components Manufacturers Chris DiPentima also addressed the audience. “What you have here is the ultimate collaboration between government, academic and industry.” He said that being located in “Aerospace Alley” ACC grads are placed in a great position for employment. He reported that the demand for a skilled workforce is high, with nine years of aerospace work already having been awarded to companies in the state.  He said the reputation of the college’s program is also strong. “Frank is an exceptional person,” he noted when speaking about ACC’s Director of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

Frank Gulluni directed his opening remarks to the Advanced Manufacturing Technology students who were all wearing their Make It Here tee-shirts, and were sitting in the front row of the auditorium. “You are the centerpiece of what we are doing. You are who represents us in the community.” He said that for the past 12-13 years the college has been actively ensuring that students are prepared for a career when they exit the program. Thousands have been impacted by the Enfield program, according to Gulluni, including college students, employees from companies who have come for training and re-training, high school students, and students as young as fifth grade, who participate in ACC’s Fifth Year program.  He said, “This program is alive and well thanks to supporters.”

To learn more about the Advanced Manufacturing Program at ACC visit https://asnuntuck.edu/courses-programs/manufacturing-technology-programs.

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