After announcing a $47.5 million federal grant to build its first major factory in the city of Bridgeport, Massachusetts-based electric-vehicle battery startup, Nanoramic Laboratories, has tapped the University of Bridgeport (UB), along with a few other select area colleges and universities, as a partner in workforce development
The innovative company chose Bridgeport following a nationwide search to identify a location for its first factory — a search that included several other potential sites, including in New York state.
On December 1st, Nanoramic co-founder, John Cooley, Ph.D. visited Goodwin University’s Steans Manufacturing Center, located on UB’s campus. Cooley was joined by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, along with AdvanceCT CEO John Bourdeaux, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, UB President Danielle Wilken, and other state and community leaders to announce the exciting collaboration.
At the event, Cooley noted the infrastructure and workforce opportunities Connecticut’s largest city offers for manufacturers, citing Bridgeport’s “very unique mix and dense concentration of highly specialized manufacturing talent and engineering talent.” He continued that he was, “impressed with the response from the community in Bridgeport and Connecticut,” as well as the “focus that the city of Bridgeport and the state has on advanced manufacturing.”
One of the key advantages to setting up shop in Bridgeport is the workforce training and recruitment opportunities available through partnership with nearby schools like University of Bridgeport.
As Nanoramic Laboratories and its parent company, FastCap Systems, performed its nationwide search throughout 2023, the company was connected to University of Bridgeport through AdvanceCT, a private nonprofit focused on business development in the state. The groups discussed how they might best address Nanoramic’s anticipated workforce needs in a way that benefits the company, the city, and UB’s students. Nanoramic expects to eventually employ 200 or more people at its Bridgeport location.
The University’s collaboration with Nanoramic and the Workforce Planning Agency aims to support training programs, internships, and apprenticeships to develop the skills required to commercialize the startup’s ground-breaking electrode technology for electric vehicles. The partnership will capitalize on existing University of Bridgeport programs for workforce development initiatives, including Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Sustainable Energy Engineering, and Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management.
Additional avenues for workforce development include UB’s Career Services and Innovation Center. Goodwin University, which acquired UB in 2021, also offers its own Engineering, Manufacturing, Business, and Management programs, along with its state-of-the-art Steans Manufacturing Center, which Goodwin opened on UB’s campus in October of 2023.
University of Bridgeport president, Danielle Wilken, is looking forward to exploring how the school and its students can play a role in helping Nanoramic and other advanced manufacturing companies build a brighter future for the city and beyond. “Hands-on training for a skilled workforce is critically important for Connecticut to boost our communities through sustainable jobs. This transformational investment will help Nanoramic Laboratories build high-performance, low-cost batteries for a more sustainable future right here in Bridgeport,” she said.
In her remarks, Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz expressed excitement at the impact this investment will have in the region: “This is transformational for our state and the country. This is one of the biggest infrastructure investments in our country in more than half a century. This will transform this community.”
“Innovation changes the world. It’s happening right here in Bridgeport,” added Governor Lamont. “This is our future.” President Wilken echoed the Governor’s sentiments in her closing remarks, saying, “We look forward to playing our part in that future.”
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Filed Under: Batteries, Technology News