Connecticut’s Technology Talent Bridge Program: Student’s Gateway to the FutureMonday, July 22, 2019
Gammons and The State of Connecticut Champion Opportunities to Students to Gain Work Experience
In April 2012, Connecticut Innovations (CI), a quasi- business authority that started an initiative to help grow Connecticut’s businesses, announced that with new funding they were going to continue to fund internship programs through the Technology Talent Bridge Program. These programs allow college students in Connecticut to get technology-based internships with small businesses in the state. They hire students who can work on projects involving technology-related problems and, in return the company gets up to $25,000 toward the intern’s compensation.
For three years, Paul Stefanik, the owner of Gammons, has been participating in the Program. He works directly with Central Connecticut State University’s Robotics and Mechatronics department to hire students for internship opportunities. To date, Gammons hired seven students under this program. “Without our young generation, we would be behind! I’m glad to give them a chance to learn and succeed. Our future is them and we have to be responsible in guiding them,” he said. Gammons Hoaglund Company believes in supporting young minds and creating the best opportunity for their future.
Paul has created highly technical projects for students pursuing a degree in Robotics and Mechatronics and Computer Science. His goal over several years was to create an autonomous environment in the shop, so he guided CCSU students in working on machines to operate in a collaborative structure. “We had this cool idea to make our manual tool grinding machine run autonomously. It was amazing what the students came up with,” he said. Two manual grinding machines, were individually retrofitted with servo motors and sensors routed through a PLC to create an autonomous grinding operation, saving set up and grinding costs. “Our goal from day one was to save money and time. As we worked with the CCSU students we were able to reach our goals quickly,” he said.
I believe all colleges in the nation should strive to implement a collaborative system in which students, institutions and companies can benefit from each other. This allows students to use classroom-based learning and apply it practically in the real world. The Gammons Hoaglund Company has always championed opportunities for those students who are seeking to expand their classroom learning to full-fledged practical jobs. Gammons continues to provide opportunities for students and implements a resourceful environment for the best learning experiences.
Joe Bailey (above), a student at CCSU, works on the Programmable Logic Computer (PLC) to modify the grinding machines so they can operate autonomously.
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