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Connecticut manufacturers need colleges and universities to provide people — skilled graduates who will make up the industry’s future workforce.
By 2030, the state labor department projects occupations in industrial, mechanical and electronics engineering will rise by more than 20%.
The industry’s need for four-year college graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields parallels its need for technicians with two-year degrees or shorter-term certifications in fields like mechatronics, who can build and maintain advanced machinery, said Andy Voelker, a partner with McKinsey & Co. in Boston.
“Aerospace and defense leaders and executives traditionally have their highly skilled, tradecraft, hourly employee base, which is running the manufacturing part of the operation. The other half is traditionally this set of engineers, technologists, scientists, what they would bucket into their 'professional' category of talent,” Voelker said. “Both are equally important.”