Connecticut STEM Success Stories
Lisa Everts, Business Owner
Elizabeth Strader, Drafter, General Dynamics Electric Boat
Whitcraft LLC, Eastford, CT
Success in Careers involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
How do you define career success? A good, stable income? Interesting work?
Examples of efforts in Connecticut to connect people like you with STEM-related jobs include:
- Green Jobs - Connecticut's Workforce Investment Boards are committed to preparing people for job opportunities in fields that clean our environment and combat global warming.
- Advanced Manufacturing - CT STEM Jobs partners in the Connecticut Community College System operate Project SMART which trains candidates for careers in Connecticut's clean, high-tech advanced manufacturing sector.
- The Connecticut Community College System's virtual College of Technology offers a specialized curriculum that allows a student to begin technology or engineering technology studies at any of the state's 12 Community Colleges with the ultimate goal of achieving a 4-year, baccalaureate degree in Engineering or Technology at UCONN, Fairfield University, Central CT State University, the University of Hartford, the University of New Haven, or Charter Oak State College.
Many people like you have completed programs like these and gone on to successful jobs in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). See examples by clicking on the links at the top of the page. Sign up today to receive information from CT STEM Jobs about news, events, and opportunities related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students, jobseekers, employers, educators, parents, and other interested individuals. Click here to sign up on CT STEM Jobs today!
Employers, educators, and workforce professionals: Please email us to suggest other STEM Success stories to profile here.
Lisa Everts has been a business owner and entrepreneur since the age of 16. Lisa decided to earn her high school diploma and began taking courses in ERACEs National External Diploma Program. Lisa demonstrated all 65 competencies and completed the work for the individualized competency in a mere four months. Lisa also took on being a mentor and enrolled in the STEM Career Academy.
Lisa enrolled in all three courses in the STEM program including Math, English and Career. Her intense commitment to the program and her own success led to an invitation to speak at the statewide STEM forum hosted by the Connecticut State Department of Education in September 2010. Her speech was inspiring and garnered two more invitations to speak at two adult education programs. In 2011 Lisa was awarded the CAACE Adult Learner Award for her hard work and commitment to learning.
Lisa has successfully completed all three STEM courses and continues to run her own business and take care of her family. She uses the knowledge that she learned in the STEM Career Academy to make her business more competitive in today's market. Lisa is an exceptional example of how an individual can overcome any obstacle and with determination, persistence and time management can achieve any goal.
After graduating from Ledyard High School, Elizabeth Strader got a job bussing tables at a restaurant in Foxwoods, but she knew she wanted a job with a more stable income and greater career potential. When she heard that Electric Boat (EB) needed Drafters to work on a new submarine project, she applied. EB Human Resources staff told her they were interested, but she lacked required technical skills including mechanical drafting techniques and mathematics skills. They informed her that, through their partnership with the Eastern Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), she could acquire the skills required for the position through short-term technical training offered by Three Rivers Community College and Penn Foster, a provider of online technical courses.
Elizabeth enrolled in the training, completed the required courses, and reapplied for the Drafter job. EB hired her to work in its Groton facility operating a CATIA Computer Assisted Design (CAD) system. After a year on the job, she enrolled in an Apprenticeship program - EB pays for her to take courses toward her Associate's Degree at Three Rivers Community College.
Elizabeth now receives regular raises based on her increasing skill level. She looks forward to getting her Associate's Degree and progressing through the five-year Apprenticeship to become a Senior Drafter and then Designer. Elizabeth took the initiative, made the most of available training, studied hard, and is well on her way to a rewarding, high-wage technical career.
Whitcraft, an aerospace components manufacturer in Eastford CT, specializes in formed sheet metal parts, precision machined components, and fabricated parts. Whitcraft President Jeff Paul understands the value of investing in skills upgrades for his workers. The company has taken advantage of the Eastern Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) Incumbent Worker Training program to provide training such as blueprint reading and "shop math" (a blend of algebra, geometry and trigonometry leading to a 2,000-hour sheet metal apprenticeship). Whitcraft's focus on continuous improvement and growing the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills of their workers makes them a STEM success story.
State Representative Denise Merrill touring Whitcraft LLC in Eastford with Whitcraft President Jeff Paul.
Learn about STEM Occupations and Career Pathways
Sample of STEM Occupations:
- Chemical Technicians (Annual Salary: $45,708)
- Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic (Annual Salary: $55,270)
- First-Line Supervisors of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care Workers (Annual Salary: $48,495)
- Bioinformatics Technicians (Annual Salary: $52,948)
- Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary (Annual Salary: $91,861)
- Electrical Engineering Technologists (Annual Salary: $65,816)
- Construction Managers (Annual Salary: $106,537)
- Actuaries (Annual Salary: $103,257)
- Chemical Plant and System Operators (Salary Unavailable)
- Video Game Designers (Salary Unavailable)