WESTMINSTER, MA (April 29, 2016) – On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 18 young women from several high schools across north central Massachusetts showcased their accomplishments and ingenuity in developing solutions to real-life business challenges at the 14th annual Women in Technology (WIT) final presentation event, hosted by Tyco SimplexGrinnell and Tyco Fire Protection Products at the Dukakis Performing Arts Center at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School.
WIT is a collaborative program that combines academic coursework with practical hands-on knowledge to prepare young women for careers in the fields of engineering, technology and business. The goal of the WIT program is to build awareness in the fields of technology and business, and confidence in the skills they acquire.
With support from high school educators and administrators, students participate in the WIT program for up to three years. Those who took part in the 2016 WIT program represent the following schools: Gardner High School, Leominster Center for Technical Education and Innovation, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Narragansett Regional High School, Oakmont Regional High School and Quabbin Regional High School.
During the past academic year, five teams of WIT students worked in collaboration with dedicated Tyco business mentors to develop ideas and solutions to challenges facing the business. Projects included events planning and program communications, designing prototyping tools for mobile applications for use by Tyco field technicians, video production about the use of common CAD tools, design of graphical user interface web applications, and development of an automated sales collection and reporting tool.
At Wednesday’s event, the students presented the results of their projects and the lessons they’ve learned to an audience of local community leaders, college and high school administrators, Tyco employees and mentors, teachers and facilitators, as well as family and friends.
In her opening remarks, Angela Richard, Tyco’s WIT Program Manager said, “For well over a decade, the WIT program has successfully engaged, empowered and encouraged young female technologists at a pivotal age in their education and career development. This final presentation event provides an opportunity to honor these exceptional young women who are active and interested in highly competitive, male-dominated fields.”
Following the project presentations, three top seniors were recognized and awarded scholarships from Tyco. Maura Shea (Quabbin) captured first place honors, earning her $1,000. Maura will enter Wellesley College, where she will major in Computer Science. Faith Witkos (Quabbin) was awarded $500 for second place honors. She will attend Clark University and pursue a double major in Physics and Computer Science. Caitlin Bosse (Gardner) earned the $250 third place award, and will attend Westfield State University, majoring in Athletic Training. All 18 participants received a certificate of achievement from Tyco SimplexGrinnell and Tyco Fire Protection Products.
Keynote speaker, Maureen Lally, Vice President of Marketing for Tyco North America, shared her educational background and personal career path and experiences working in a variety of marketing and leadership roles within technology companies. “Technology has evolved dramatically since the 80’s and 90’s. And, while it’s great to have technology, you still have to be innovative, creative, collaborative and diverse in your thinking and communication. Multi-disciplinary thinking will allow you to make great ideas accessible to others,” said Lally. “As you prepare for college and your career, be open to new challenges and opportunities to reinvent yourself. Explore options, participate, be inquisitive and confident—when faced with new challenges and pushed beyond your comfort zone, is when you’ll learn the most.”
About the WIT Program
Recognized as one of the region’s premier experience-based educational programs of its kind, WIT aims to develop a seamless connection between business and industry, secondary schools and post-secondary colleges. Over the past decade, hundreds of students have participated as Tyco SimplexGrinnell and Tyco Fire Protection Products have joined local schools and the business community in providing young women with real-life work experiences and challenges.
Tyco SimplexGrinnell, Tyco Fire Protection Products, the North Central School to Career Partnership, and the North Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board are the business and industry partners in this successful program.
About Tyco SimplexGrinnell
Tyco SimplexGrinnell, a Tyco business, is a longtime leader in fire and life safety as well as healthcare communications, with one million customers and a history that dates back to the mid 1800s. Tyco SimplexGrinnell is advancing safety and security with a comprehensive array of fire alarm, fire sprinkler, fire suppression, healthcare communications, emergency communications and integrated security solutions and services. Headquartered in Westminster, Massachusetts, Tyco SimplexGrinnell has over 8,000 employees in the United States and serves customers through 130 company-owned offices.
Manager, Corporate Communications