Vice President Joe Biden Celebrates Goodwin College’s Manufacturing Initiatives
During an August 20 luncheon to discuss the future of the production workforce in the country, Vice President Joe Biden called the Manufacturing Program at Goodwin College an example for the nation’s schools.
“This initiative here at this college is actually the thing needed all across America,” Biden said of Goodwin’s Manufacturing Program and its partnership with local businesses.
The vice president met in one of the College’s manufacturing classrooms with state and local officials, manufacturing executives, Goodwin faculty, and students from the Manufacturing Program during an hour-long luncheon that featured a roundtable discussion on the development of the nation’s growing manufacturing workforce.
In response to the notion that other countries are taking the lead in this area, Biden asked, “Where is it written that America can’t be the leading manufacturer? Manufacturing is coming back to the United States of America.”
During his remarks, Biden said that the nation’s manufacturing industry had created 700,000 new jobs over the past six years. He added, however, that these new jobs require a new set of skills. “The jobs that were lost are not the [same] jobs that are coming back,” he said. “What we need here is technicians of a different nature.”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said that the state — thanks to partnerships like that between Goodwin and local manufacturers — was making strides towards growing the workforce of the future. “We have to do a better job in Connecticut of training our workforce,” Malloy said. “That’s why our relationship with a private, non-profit organizations like Goodwin is so important.”
The vice president said that while it might be difficult to make the leap to a new field, training programs like Goodwin’s are a great venue for change.
“You’re underemployed? You don’t like your job? Go back to school,” Biden said. “There’s always a way back. Take these courses.”
Four Goodwin College manufacturing students — Ron Gatchell, Derek Bylina, Roy Weaver, and Brittany Kannair — were asked to attend the luncheon to offer their perspectives on the need for skilled manufacturing workers, as well as the growth of Goodwin’s Manufacturing Program.
“From day one, they laid all the cards on the table to give the graduates federal, state, and local exposure,” Gatchell said about the College. “This is over and above what anyone expected. What other school have you seen that gives their students this kind of exposure?”
“At the end of the day, for the school to recognize our hard work is amazing,” Bylina said.
“The faculty cares about the program,” Kannair said, “and they recognize that we care about the program as well.”
The vice president praised Goodwin’s student representatives and the effort they’ve put in to pursue their careers.
He added that individuals can balance working a job with continuing their studies. “You can stay in the job you have [while getting] the skills you need to get a better position,” Biden said of the College’s Manufacturing Program. “These students did that.”
Following the luncheon, Goodwin’s Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Business Development, Cliff Thermer, stated, “We always hear when something goes amiss in manufacturing, but we never hear the positive stories about the resilience of the American workforce and the great careers to be found in this field. That’s the story we need to get out there. We’re hoping that the vice president’s visit today shines a light on these opportunities.”
To see photos from the Vice President’s visit, click here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goodwincollege/sets/72157646259294457/