Middletown, Connecticut, December 2, 2019 No-College-Debt and high paying salaries is music to a parent’s ears… and it should be. Middletown Public Schools (MPS) is leading the way in Connecticut by founding a new Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing program aimed at providing students with high-tech, employable skills in ‘new collar’ careers needed RIGHT NOW in Connecticut. “We are Middletown, home of the Pratt & Whitney Engine Factory, Aerospace and Manufacturing is who we are,” says Paul Pelletier, Aerospace and Manufacturing Instructor.
Beginning fall of 2020 Middletown High School will add two survey courses in Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing to its Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings. Students will be able to earn college credit and industry certifications, as well as touring industry partner facilities, attending summer intensives, and learning about career opportunities in the region.
On Friday, December 6, 2019, as a precursor to the launch of the Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing program, all 300 eighth grade students from Woodrow Wilson Middle School will have the chance to experience a Robinson R44 helicopter ‘up close and personal’ on the field opposite the school beginning at 9am. The Robinson R44 is the most manufactured helicopter in the world today. Its mission ranges from law enforcement, to news media, executive transportation, agriculture, tours, and rescue. On hand to answer questions will be Tom Barclay, Director of Maintenance for Lifestar (30 years, RET), Dan Colt, Assistant Chief Pilot, Northeast Helicopters, Katelyn Gardiner, Civil Air Patrol Cadet, and Paul Pelletier, Aerospace and Manufacturing Instructor, Middletown High School. The helicopter represents the opportunities afforded by the aerospace industry, literally the sky’s the limit for students willing to invest their time and energy in the field.
David Reynolds, Coordinator of CTE at MPS noted, “There is such a need in Connecticut in aerospace that many companies will pay for college for motivated employees that want to work in their high-tech facilities. These businesses are flush with high-tech gadgetry that is fun and interesting to students. It is a Win-Win.”
Richard Aboulafia, Vice President of Analysis at Teal Group and keynote speaker at the November 20, 2019 Aerospace Components Manufacturers Association trade show noted, “There is absolutely no place in this business for anything that’s not ...high skill or high wage.”
The new initiative ties directly to Middletown Public Schools’ Strategic Operating Plan: Middletown 2021 Keys to Innovation and Equity, Unlocking the Potential of ALL Students, that outlines the district’s collective journey focused on preparing students for the competitive global market of the 21st century and strives to position itself as the most progressive education enterprise in the state.
Dr. Michael T. Conner, Superintendent, Middletown Public Schools stated, “One of our district strategies emanating from the Strategic Operating Plan is to establish successful education models that promote choice and achievement through innovation. The new Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing program is a teacher and administrator driven initiative that will position our students for success in the marketplace and in life. I applaud their efforts in launching this landmark initiative.”
For inquiries regarding this initiative please contact The Office of the Superintendent, Middletown Public Schools, 860.638.1422.