More than four thousand manufacturing professionals are expected to visit Hartford this week for a trade show billed as Manufacturing For the Future. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
This conference focuses on technological advances in four main industries, aerospace, defense, medical and energy. For Connecticut exhibitors like Thayer Brown of Modern Metal Finishing in Oxford, it’s a chance to meet potential customers from further afield.
“A show like this will draw people in from the Midwest, maybe upstate New York, that we wouldn’t normally go to, because we’re a regional, or a company that’s right here in Connecticut and don’t have the resources to reach out.”
But Eliot Ginsberg of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology says this gathering goes beyond companies selling goods and winning new customers.
“There’s new innovation, new technology, new processing, new issues that are being raised. The sharing of technology, not just in the exhibit hall, but the technology that’s being explained in the sessions – that’s the real wealth of this conference.”
The exposition is organized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. President Laroux Gillespie says one of the most satisfying aspects is the chance to host young people.
“One of the real hurts in American industry is that students and parents don’t understand the challenge, the excitement, and nobody mentions the fun, of making something nobody else has ever made. And maybe it’s something that goes in the human body to know that you’re helping people, changing people’s lives. And students can get a chance to see that here.”
Governor Dannel Malloy opened the conference Tuesday morning. He was bullish about Connecticut’s role, despite the historic loss of manufacturing jobs in the state.
“Connecticut is a precision manufacturing center. Each of the industries that is being highlighted here is a sweet spot industry for us. We are realigning our economic development packages to be far more supportive of precision manufacturing – we’re going to go after it.”
Manufacturing for the Future runs through Thursday at the Connecticut Convention Center.
For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.