130 Girls Discover What Makes Manufacturing Real

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Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. and SME host the first "Making It Real: Girls & Manufacturing Summit" to help middle and high school girls learn about the exciting career opportunities in manufacturing today.

Middle and high school girls participate in the Ice Cream Stick Factory activity where they act as entrepreneurs manufacturing custom ice cream sticks for their customers

Manufacturing is facing a skills gap, and part of that is the under-representation of women in the industry.

More than 130 middle and high school girls from schools around the state traveled to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford to participate in Making It Real: Girls & Manufacturing Summit, hosted by Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. in partnership with SME at SME’s Mfg4 Conference on Thursday, May 8.

Part of a three-day Mfg4 student program, the Summit tapped into today’s leading women in manufacturing to inspire the next generation of leadership and talent. Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, The Manufacturing Institute President Jennifer McNelly, CT Commissioner of DECD Catherine Smith, and CT Commissioner of Labor Sharon Palmer set the stage with personal stories about their careers and opportunities for young women in manufacturing today.

Other leading practitioners from the field talked about their roles in manufacturing and the skills needed to be successful.

Students were introduced to manufacturing through team-based activities that replicated the manufacturing process from concept to design to fabrication to quality control. They saw 3-D printing in action, and learned about rapid advances in manufacturing technology and future career opportunities.

An educator workshop on preparing the 21st century STEM workforce was held concurrently.

Launched in December 2010 by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT), Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. is part of a nationwide career awareness and recruitment program focused on creating a positive image of 21st century manufacturing.

“Manufacturing is facing a skills gap, and part of that is the under-representation of women in the industry,” said Susan Palisano, CCAT’s Director of Education & Workforce Development. “Sparking interest in future careers among girls is a priority to assure that the region’s manufacturers can attract, retain and advance women in skilled positions.”

About Connecticut. Dream It. Do It.
Endorsed by the Manufacturing Institute and administered by Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT), Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. is part of a nationwide effort to create a positive image of manufacturing today and to develop an awareness of rewarding manufacturing careers. Through partnerships with business, industry, education, economic and workforce development organizations statewide, Connecticut. Dream It. Do It. is taking the lead in enhancing Connecticut’s current and future manufacturing workforce pipeline. For more information, go to http://www.ctdreamitdoit.com.

About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for the industry. Follow @sme_mfg on Twitter or facebook.com/smemfg on Facebook.

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