Forum for high school students, public will dispel myths of manufacturing careers

On Thursday, Oct. 2 at BristolCentralHigh School, the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, New England Spring and Metalstamping Association, Main Street Community Foundation and the Bristol Board of Education are hosting a manufacturing forum for high school students and the general public.

This program is an initiative of the newly formed Bristol Technical Advisory Board, which is comprised of local community, business and education leaders committed to expanding awareness of career opportunities in our technically based workforce.

The program will be open for students from Bristol, Wolcott, Burlington, Harwinton, Southington, Plainville, Farmington, and Terryville. The program for high school students will take place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and the program for parents and the community-at-large will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

This forum will begin with a showing of the movie “Made in America” and will be followed by a question and answer panel of business leaders representing different manufacturing and technical/skilled trades sectors. The panel will cover the growth of 21st century manufacturing in the region, debunk the myths surrounding this industry; showcase, and raise awareness of current and future employment opportunities, and provide an overview of workplace expectations. Speakers also provide information on local training programs.

In 2014, a press release from the Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce said, manufacturing posted close to 21,000 job openings in Connecticut. The release said, “‘once coined as dirty, dark and dangerous,’ today’s manufacturing environments are high tech state-of-the-art facilities. The motivation behind this community collaboration is to ensure we dispel these myths in order to educate and develop a workforce capable of meeting the demands of this vital industry sector.”

The focus of this forum is to inform high school students, educators, parents and the local community on the diverse employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector, the release said. “It is a great opportunity for anyone interested in careers in the trades, business, finance, engineering, technology, marketing, and/or entrepreneurships, to learn firsthand about the opportunities 21st century manufacturing offers as well as how local business leaders built their companies to the successes they are today. The movie also showcases the impact that American made products have on our economy,” said the news release from the chamber.

Due to the expansion of manufacturing locally, regionally and nationally, the release said educators need to bring these opportunities to the forefront of their discussions with students, explaining what rewarding and lucrative careers are available.

“The Bristol Board of Education, Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, Main Street Community Foundation, NESMA, and the Bristol Technical Advisory Council are committed to broadening the awareness about next generation manufacturing and encouraging students and other demographics to look at living wage employment opportunities and high-paying careers available in the clean, exciting manufacturing companies in our region,” said the news release.

For more information, call the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce at (860)584-4718 or