Pratt & Whitney Supports Two Key Programs at SRTC
from the Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation newsletter
When a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of military and commercial jet engines offers you spare equipment, you say yes! When that North Berwick neighbor gives your tech students tours of their state-of-the-art facility and offers their personal support and expertise, you jump at the opportunity. And when Pratt & Whitney offers to sponsor two student programs, you say a big Sanford THANK YOU!
As a way to thank the generous benefactors, The Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation has re-named two programs at the Sanford Regional Technical Center: The Pratt & Whitney Precision Manufacturing Program and the Pratt & Whitney Engineering Applications with Robotics Program at Sanford High School. “It’s a great opportunity to partner with SRTC, it just made absolute sense for us,” said Michael Papp, Executive General Manager of the North Berwick facility. “Supporting students in these programs sets us both up for a successful future.”
Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies company, is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. Pratt & Whitney’s North Berwick facility engineers, manufactures, and repairs engine components and modules for both Military and Commercial customers. This site hosts not only manufacturing and assembly, but also has a full complement of engineers onsite.
James Brann, Senior Manufacturing Engineering Technical Manager at Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick, works with Joseph Bolduc, the Precision Manufacturing instructor at Sanford Regional Technical Center. Recently Brann was able to donate “a boatload” of spare cutting tools and even an almost-new turning machine to the program. And when in-person robotics competitions resume, Pratt & Whitney North Berwick has an employee ready to help the team.
“I’m in awe of Joe’s program,” said Brann. “We continue to hire people from his program because he does such a great job preparing them. And we feel great because we’re connecting students with competitive paying, technologically advanced careers right here in Maine.”
Bolduc said the partnership with Pratt & Whitney makes all the difference, providing real-life equipment and experience that makes his program relevant to today’s manufacturing workforce. “Pratt & Whitney has donated like-new equipment (pictured above), a great example of support for the Precision Manufacturing that allows students learn on newer safe, accurate machines to learn the fundamentals,” he said. “Precision Manufacturing students learn the entry-level skills necessary to be successful in manufacturing and engineering careers at Pratt & Whitney.”
Pre-COVID, students were offered tours of the shop floor so they can see for themselves a state-of-theart facility. “It’s a highly technical environment. Our facility is light and bright, with floors so clean you could almost eat off them.” said Brann with a laugh. There is a renewed sense of excitement and expectation that tours will be able to resume in 2022.
The partnership also offers students different pathways beyond high school. “It is important for these students to understand there’s an opportunity for everyone here,” said Papp. “We used to tell students they had to go to college to succeed. Now we tell them that there are options for success, that include careers in manufacturing. We have technology that we’ve never had before, and there’s an opportunity for students to transfer these skills into a very good career.”
Pratt & Whitney’s North Berwick site has already seen the benefits of this growing partnership. “We work in lock-step with each other,” reiterated James Brann, noting they have hired a handful of SRTC grads. “This relationship has been successful for both of us.” Supporting students in these programs prepares them for success, while building a strong workforce for the future.