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March 3, 2020 Deal Watch Today

Tunxis buys building for new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center

Tunxis Community College A building Tunxis Community College bought on 21 Spring Lane in Farmington will serve as the school's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center.

Tunxis Community College bought a $1.3 million building adjacent to its Farmington campus that will serve as its new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center.

The state bought the 44,000-square-foot former manufacturing building, which sits on six acres at 21 Spring Lane in 2013, according to Tunxis. The school initially plans to renovate 10,000 square feet of it to house its advanced manufacturing technology programs. 

“The programs within this center prepare Tunxis students for high-skilled careers in as little as 30 weeks, which helps address critical workforce needs for skilled graduates in Connecticut and strengthens our state’s economy,” said Dr. James Lombella, North-West regional president of the Connecticut Community Colleges.

Tunxis is in the process of selecting an architect for the renovation project, according to the school. Administrators expect renovations will begin this summer, and the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center will open in time for the spring, 2021 semester. 

The machine technology and electro-mechanical maintenance technology programs Tunxis introduced in 2018 will continue to operate in existing space until the new center is completed.

Opening of a new manufacturing-focused facility could play a role in rebounding Connecticut’s lagging manufacturing workforce.

A survey conducted by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) found 60% of respondents ranked recruitment, retention and hiring qualified staff as their most immediate significant need, and the numbers show it could only get more challenging.

Connecticut’s overall workforce is aging, with the number of employees either under the age of 25, or between 25 and 54 falling 1.5% and 5%, respectively, between 2008 and 2018, according to the Connecticut Economic Digest. During the same period, the number of workers over age 54 grew by 7%.

According to the CBIA survey, 4% of Connecticut’s overall workforce is expected to retire next year, and 19% of the state’s manufacturing workers are set to retire between 2021 and 2024.

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