SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Some big things are happening in the technology program at Springfield Technical Community College.
STCC is expanding its mechanical engineering technology building and that means more good paying jobs in the precision manufacturing field.
Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki joined local officials in cutting the ribbon for the expansion of the mechanical engineering technology, or MET, program at STCC.
The expansion was made possible by a $1.2 million state grant.
“This is a place where we’re making an investment, where as far as we’re concerned, we’re not trying out an experiment. This is a proven return on our investment,” Bialecki explains.
The STCC program produces skilled graduates who are prepared to work in precision manufacturing.
In fact, STCC can’t turn them out fast enough.
“Our placement rate is outstanding. As a matter of fact, some of the employers are courting our students early on in the process, so that when they graduate, they gave already secured a full-time position,” adds Dr. Adrienne Smith, the Dean of the School of Engineering Technology.
Starting salaries in this high technology field start between $45,000 and $50,000 a year.
Local businesses know firsthand the importance of trained workers in precision manufacturing.
“The ones who don’t get pro-active here are going to get left behind, because work will go elsewhere, so it’s important, not just for my company – but the region – to sell itself that we have the ability to grow and have the qualified workers,” says Edward Leyden of Franklin Design.
The expansion allows this technology program to double in size. It will now increase from 40 to 80 the number of freshman students who will be enrolled in the growing program.
Dr. Smith says people need to understand that manufacturing has changed.
There are no more dirty shops, but clean buildings with large, high priced computerized driven equipment.