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CUTLINE: Bridgeport’s Chris Frank, a 2013 graduate of HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program, landed a job with Bridgeport’s Alloy Engineering upon graduation. Six months later, he was able to buy his first home.
HCC Manufacturing Program Opens Doors
For Bridgeport’s Chris Frank
Helped Him Buy First Home Within Six Months
Dream Come True
Bridgeport – When 26-year-old Chris Frank looks at his new four-bedroom home in Bridgeport, he can’t believe it’s real.
“It’s like a dream come true,” said Frank, a 2013 HCC graduate and member the first advanced manufacturing program graduating class. “I didn’t have the faintest idea that I would be a homeowner at 26,” he said. “I thought it would be more like 36.”
Frank credits his employer, Alloy Engineering, and Housatonic Community College for making this dream come true. It was his job at Alloy, which manufactures thermowells that protect thermometers and other temperature sensing elements, that gave him the wherewithal to get financing for the house, he said. It was Housatonic’s advanced manufacturing program that gave him the skills to get that job.
HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program was designed with the needs of area manufacturers in mind. As new businesses continue to come into the area and existing businesses expand and upgrade, they will need workers with a higher skill level to meet the demands of new and expanding technologies. The HCC program gives them these skills.
The two-semester program, which leads to a certificate in advanced manufacturing, is an intense 35-hour-per-week program designed to give students the high-tech skills needed by today’s manufacturers. Students can choose between a day or evening schedule.
The program combines theory with hands-on practice. Students will receive a thorough grounding in CAD, blueprint reading, manufacturing machining, and CNC. Students divide their time evenly between classroom work and hands-on activities in the manufacturing center.
It as an odd twist of fate that brought Frank to HCC. The Fairfield Prep grad, who studied at Temple University for a year and a half, had been working at a local pharmacy and doing other assorted jobs until he was injured in a motorcycle accident.
“After this, I thought I should get into an industry where I could make my own parts,” said Frank. “That way, I know the quality would be there.”
Frank has only praise for the HCC program. “The teachers are the manufacturing program’s biggest asset.” he said. “They know the full potential of the machines in the manufacturing center and they’re experts in teaching students how to use them.”
The instructors, he said, also keep in touch with area manufacturers to find out what they want in the way of employee skills. “And they train us to do just that,” he said.
Frank, who still holds down his job at the pharmacy in addition to working at Alloy, has found his niche: working on things mechanical. Thanks to Alloy and HCC, he got to realize his homeowner’s dream a good ten years ahead of schedule.
Registration for the Advanced Manufacturing Program is going on now. For more information, call Kimberly Wood, 203-332-5098; Mike Gugger, 203-332-5963; or Bill Griffin, 203-332-5056. Information sessions on the program will be held every Tuesday and Thursday through August, from 1-2 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., in Room 287 in Beacon Hall. Classes begin Aug. 27.