Twenty-six students in Bill Domeracki’s Tech Ed classes at Milford’s Foran High School recently had an opportunity to come up close and personal with Connecticut’s manufacturing industry.

Working with Housatonic Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Center and the Edgewell Personal Care, parent company of brands such as Schick, Playtex, Edge and Skintimate to name a few, this group of seniors spent the day learning about local manufacturing practices. Students were provided with an overview of the industry, followed by a tour of the Housatonic Community College Advanced Manufacturing Program and then back on the bus to visit the Edgewell facility.

Organized by the Advanced Manufacturing Center’s Outreach Coordinator, Gene LaPorta, and Foran College & Career Center Coordinator Trudy Litzie, this intrepid class was able to connect the dots between education and career in one of the most in-demand local industries. According to LaPorta, 100% of graduates in Housatonic’s Advanced Manufacturing Center class are now employed, making it one of the most successful program offerings at the college. Litzie and colleagues were impressed by the potential career paths available to students.

Litzie said, "This was such a unique opportunity for our students. After visiting the HCC Manufacturing Program, they were treated to a tour of the Edgewell facility where they got to experience the real world of manufacturing. It really opened their eyes to the possibilities of career options in the manufacturing field."

And Domeracki said, “Combining the Housatonic Community College field trip with a tour of the Edgewell/Schick Manufacturing Company on the same day was a brilliant idea. This gave students the opportunity to see what it is like to be in a college setting learning real-world skills and applications. The Edgewell tour immediately after gave the students a genuine sense of reality. I think that this field trip combination is a helpful component in career decision making for our students.”

Students said they learned a lot about the industry.

As one student put it, “Going into the workshop and talking to students gave us a really good feel for what it’s like to work on the machines. Also, just being in the shop was a great educational opportunity because students got a feel for the environment.”

All in all, LaPorta considered the day a huge success. “Creating meaningful experiences for students, which connect education to the working world, goes a long way toward developing Connecticut’s future economic engine. The Advanced Manufacturing Center is proud to have foresighted partners at Foran High School and the supportive crew at Edgewell. I appreciate and applaud their efforts. We need to do more of this.”