The Academy of Aerospace and Engineering at John Wallace Middle School has begun to build partnerships with the aerospace industry in our area. Newington is in the middle of “Aerospace Alley,” one of the most concentrated areas of aerospace firms in the world. Aerospace is the leading export industry for Connecticut and for the United States, and it offers a bright future for people seeking careers.
One nearby aerospace company is GKN Aerospace, located a few blocks from our school. GKN is a global corporation, and the plant in Newington makes jet fan casings, requiring a highly precise manufacturing process. This makes GKN a major supplier for jet engine manufacturers, including GE and Pratt & Whitney, two other Connecticut aerospace firms. On November 12, Bruce Fiedorowicz, Director of Sales for GKN Engine Systems, and Sue Porter, Director of Human Resources, came to the academy and presented a large photograph of a jet engine with a plaque signifying the start of a partnership between our academy and their company. They also spoke to the students about what GKN does and how the aerospace industry needs STEM graduates. The academy students then gave them a full tour of our facility. Mr. Fiedorowicz emailed me later on and in describing his visit he said, “Impressive is a complete understatement.” In January, we plan to tour the GKN plant and talk with engineers and technicians there. All in all, it is the start of a productive partnership.