As Connecticut, New England, and the nation seek to emerge from the multiple economic disruptions of the past year and a half, it is increasingly clear that we need to respond effectively to major economic trends, evaluate the impact on traditional education, embrace equity and diversity, and consider what our manufacturing workforce must tackle to continue progress towards modern innovation.

Those priorities will be the focus of the New England Maker Summit (NEMS) 2021, being held in-person and virtually this year on Friday, November 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event is hosted by MakerspaceCT in Hartford, with an outstanding line-up of experts, innovators, and ground-breakers.

Attendees of NEMS 2021 will hear directly from industry leaders in New England and beyond, sharing insight and perspectives, exploring this year’s theme: Industry 4.0 and the Next Generation of Our Workforce, considering how to achieve inclusivity and engage the next generation.

Keynote speakers include:

After the keynotes, Devra Sisitsky and Mark Colbert of MakerspaceCT will lead a session outlining MakerspaceCT’s Answer to Workforce Development.

The event will continue through the afternoon, starting with an update on manufacturing workforce efforts at the state and municipal levels with Kelli-Marie Vallieres, Executive Director of the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy and co-chair of the Governor’s Workforce Council, and Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford.

Two afternoon tracks are planned:

Track 1 will focus on “Innovation in Manufacturing” with Hartford’s Barry Alexander, CEO & Founder of Aquiline Drones, speaking on the evolution from automation to autonomy.

Track 2 will explore “Inclusivity in STEM Education” with Amy Thompson, Associate Director, University of Connecticut UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering; Assistant Director, U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Assessment Center and Director, SmartBuildings CT at UConn; Gloria Ortiz-Rivera, Director of Early College and Career Pathways at ReadyCT; and Flora Padro, Principal at Hartford Public High School.

The afternoon program culminates with a panel discussion that addresses workforce development challenges, including bringing women back into the workforce.

Panelists include:

  • Jacquelynn Garofano, Chief Technology Officer at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology
  • Candace Freedenberg, Chairwoman and Founder, Untapped Potential Inc.
  • Dennis Williams, AVP, Client Partner, Cognizant
  • Beatriz Gutierrez, President and CEO, CONNSTEP

“The summit will discuss the critical questions facing businesses across industries: What does the next generation of our workforce look like? How will technological improvements affect human-machine interface? How do we bring inclusivity and diversity to education, manufacturing, and the workplace?” said MakerspaceCT Executive Director Devra Sisitsky. “Beyond that, are we providing the proper training for new-collar technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and additive manufacturing,” she added.

NEMS 2021 sponsors include:

Additional sponsors are welcome, please contact Devra Sisitsky for more information.

Register to attend the New England Maker Summit (NEMS) 2021