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Local high schoolers, enrolled in technology program, tour Collars and Couplings

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Comments from some of the West Springfield High students who toured Atlantic

On a sunny Thursday in April, 14 students from nearby West Springfield High School visited Collars and Couplings to learn about the role of an industrial wholesale distributor and how it fits into the manufacturing supply chain.

The students, freshman through juniors, got to pick orders, bar code scan shipments, and operate inspection equipment.

They are enrolled in the school’s Pathways to Prosperity program. It exposes them to manufacturing and related industries and provides a curriculum that lets them earn an Associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Springfield Technical Community College.

According to Collars and Couplings General Manager, Tony Peterson, Collars has supported Pathways for several years through monetary donations. “The Springfield Massachusetts area was a manufacturing hot bed 100 years ago and we’re proud to support its resurgence, now,” said Peterson.

Along with Peterson, veteran Collars employees Dana Lees, Norm Fortini and Jackie Kostanski gave tours, provided demonstrations and answered questions. According to Fortini, they were impressed by the students’ interest and curiosity.

Advisor Margaret Butera from West Springfield High School organized the tour. She later emailed to explain “how extremely pleased we were with the field trip. The students thoroughly enjoyed it.” Accompanying Butera was Eric Hanson, director of West Springfield High School’s Pathways to Prosperity program.

A second visit to Collars and Couplings by additional West Springfield High Pathways to Prosperity students is scheduled for early June.

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