Students learn about manufacturing, STEM

Participants in a STEM and manufacturing panel at Plainville High School pose for a photograph. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)



Plainville High School hosted a STEM and manufacturing panel so interested students could hear first-hand information from several companies and workers in the field.

This event was part of the Schools Community Business Partnership model, developed by director of public relations, Lynn Davis, and career center coordinator, Sue Bradley.

“Welcome to our students, you’re our future, and the purpose of today is to make sure you’re prepared with more knowledge and information that will better inform you when you’re making decisions about your career path,” said Steve LePage, assistant superintendent of Plainville Community Schools.

LePage said that as a district, PCS will continue to work on preparing their students with skills such as collaboration with others, problem solving, and critical thinking.

“When it comes time to make decisions about your career, you have to be able to apply those skills,” said LePage. “That’s where I think the bridge from high school and your education to what you’re going to do after high school, whether you choose to go directly into the workforce or you decide to go to college or both, this is just opening options and opportunities for you.”

Representing Fluid Control Solutions was owner, Gary Fett, and lead inspector, Chris Benoit.

Justin Manafort, vice president, and Jody Mills, operating engineer maintenance manager, represented Manafort Brothers.

From Acme Monaco was Judith Spreda, human resources manager, Kamil Blad, an apprentice in the tool and die maker division, Michelle Kallaugher, a human resources representative, and Rebecca Karabin-Ahem, co-president.

Representing Trumpf were Alex Thibault, head of machine tool installations, and Tom Bailey, a technical specialist.

And, representing Dattco was branch manager, Tim Rebstad, Ron King, director of technical support, sales, and service, and Denzyl Rosado, an apprentice.

All presenters spoke about the different divisions in each company, and how there are openings for candidates with all sorts of technical skills and backgrounds. These skills may include mechanical skills, such as repairing transport vehicles or building lasers; digital skills like computer aided design; or even math, as one presenter said he uses calculus skills on a weekly basis.

But, one thing was universal; all of the companies are looking to hire candidates that are “willing to work hard,” who will “show up to work each day,” and are able to “work collaboratively” with the various departments housed in each company.

“We need people on both sides of it – people with technical skills and people with the engineering skills,” said State Representative Dr. Bill Petit. “If being in school a long time is not for you, many of these technical jobs where you can train for a year or two or three, are really great opportunities, and can provide great incomes and great lifestyles for folks.”

A bit of advice offered by Dr. Petit was that students “need to do things that you think you’re going to love, so you don’t have to go to work everyday, you get to go do the things you like to do on a daily basis.”

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