WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Atlantic Fasteners, a West Springfield, MA company is investing yet again in their community.
The industrial and aerospace fastener distributor is announcing a donation of $1,000 to West Springfield High School’s Pathways to Prosperity-Advanced Manufacturing program. This nationwide initiative is giving students a new way to break into the world of manufacturing.
“Skilled machinists and other manufacturing professionals are retiring in record numbers. It’s our obligation to help fill the skills gap, thereby ensuring a viable manufacturing base for the area,” noted Atlantic president, Tony Peterson.
The Pathways to Prosperity program has spread to eight states and will give ninth graders an opportunity to take more math and science classes that will prove to be beneficial to kids interested in manufacturing careers. The goal is for students to attain college credit for Springfield Technical Community College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology major.
The program does not change the current curriculum at West Springfield, but instead makes more classes available to the program’s participants. The program will launch in the fall with 40 students participating.
The Regional Employment Board of Hampden County wanted to partner with various companies in the area and industry including Atlantic Fasteners, to get the program off the ground.
“Our relationship with Atlantic Fasteners is still brand new,” said David Cruise of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. “We were looking for growth companies to get on board. We want to expose the kids to all that manufacturing has to offer.”
Atlantic Fasteners is not the only local establishment to assist the Pathways program. Advance Welding, Ben Franklin Design & Manufacturing Co.; Hayden Corporation, Eastern States Exposition, Bates Fullam Insurance Agency, WMNTMA, NUVO Bank, and the Larry A. Maier Memorial Education Fund have also contributed to the cause.
“Our role is to facilitate,” Cruise said. “We want companies to share the value of manufacturing and maybe even have employees mentor and teach students.”
Atlantic, a 100% Employee Owned company, plans on hosting tours to expose the first class to the vital role of distribution in the manufacturing process.
Through Pathways to Prosperity, students will hone their communication and interpersonal skills, creativity, attention to detail, analytical and mechanical competencies, and mathematics/computer proficiencies.