Bristol Resident Trains for New Career at Manchester Community College

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Domenic DeAngelis
Manchester, CT – (October 10, 2012) . . . Retraining for a new career can be a scary experience at first – particularly for an older worker -- but it can also open a world of new opportunity and promise. So it was for former Manchester Community College student Domenic DeAngelis, Jr.

A photocopier repair technician and team leader for a dozen years, DeAngelis had expected to continue working for the Xerox Co. in Enfield until retirement. But the company, like others in the electronics industry, was thinning its ranks. DeAngelis found himself unemployed, over 50, and facing an uncertain and unsettling future.

It was June 15, 2010.

DeAngelis, a Bristol resident, thought he might like to train for a job as a chef. One of his two grown children is a culinary school graduate and chef, and the entire DeAngelis family loves food. (Domenic is particularly adept at the art of making smoked meats. And if you need advice on where to get good barbecue, he’s your man.)

Ultimately, though, he enrolled in MCC’s precision manufacturing program, having learned that he qualified for educational benefits as a displaced worker.

“I wanted to stay in a field where I could possibly use my other skills in electronics,” he said. “I thought I might pursue a career in equipment repair and installation where my past experiences would have come in handy.”

Even though he did not have to juggle work and school (his wife, Lynne, is a medical assistant), the transition back to academics was still a little challenging, he admits.

“The one thing I found difficult at the beginning was getting back into doing math every day and trying to remember algebra and geometry,” DeAngelis recalls. “But with the help of other students and the faculty it came back.”

Having spent many years as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy Reserve – including a deployment to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm -- DeAngelis was impressed with “the sense of camaraderie” he experienced during his eight months as an MCC student.

“If someone had a hard time getting a part of the program, there was always a fellow student willing to help,” he said. “I found this very true in the shop classes.”

DeAngelis took classes in metrology, quality control, lean manufacturing and in CNC (that’s computer numerical controlled) operated machinery. He spent many hours in the MCC machine shop learning basic and more advanced machining techniques.

“I learned a lot from the instructors,” he continued, “but also some little tricks of the trade from students who were well versed in the use of manual equipment, but were there to further their careers.”

Toward the end of the training, Ed Dombroski, coordinator for the manufacturing programs, sent DeAngelis’s resume out to a number of prospective employers. Dombroski is a former manufacturing executive himself, and works closely with area companies to train the kinds of people they need, and to help his students find work.

One day DeAngelis got a call from a Manchester firm asking him to come in for an interview.

“I thought I would be working with metals the rest of my life,” he said, but the open position was with ABA-PGT, a company that makes plastic gears and other composite components. The interview went well, and DeAngelis got the job. It was June 15, 2012 – two years to the day from when he was laid off.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.

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News Item Posted On: October 10, 2012
For Additional Information Contact: Bonnie Willgoos at 860-512-2928