GCCF Celebrates Naming of John and Gladys Soto and Family Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory

Gateway Community College Foundation celebrated on October 7, 2015 the naming of the John and Gladys Soto and Family Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory. A naming ceremony commemorated the event, which was attended by Thomas Griggs Jr., Chair of the Gateway Community College Foundation Board; Dorsey L. Kendrick, Ph.D., President of Gateway Community College; and John and Gladys Soto; Eric Flynn, interim Department Chair, GCC Engineering Technology; Joseph Kardos, Manufacturing Instructor; and Dr. Wilson Luna, GCC Dean of Students.

The manufacturing lab is designed to support the learning outcomes and skills of the College’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program.  Manufacturing has been the principal driver of technical innovation, which in turn has been an important source of economic growth in American society.  The Manufacturing Lab was designed to prepare students for the highly mechanized nature of the manufacturing sector, using computers and computer-controlled devices at every stage of manufacturing, from design and prototyping to actual machining, fabrication, quality testing, and packaging of finished products. The Lab is a facility that provides controlled conditions where students engage and investigate manufacturing processes, design, and computerized tools.  Utilizing Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), and Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) to design tools, fixtures, and dies, students engage new production methods reflected in a rapidly changing field.

The Sotos embody both the values and commitment to accessible education that community college affords students.
As an entrepreneur and an active member of his community, John Soto blazed the trail for others, demonstrating the many ways in which wise and compassionate business management and community involvement can be complementary forces for social and economic change.


Born in Puerto Rico, Mr. Soto moved to Manhattan’s Lower East Side as a young man. He became an entry-level machinist and worked his way up through the ranks to became a manager of an aircraft parts plant. In 1970, he founded Space-Craft Manufacturing, Inc., with just four employees in Milford, CT. Now located in New Haven, Space-Craft has become an industry leader, supplying parts to the United States military as well as to the General Electric and Pratt & Whitney corporations.

Space-Craft Manufacturing has received numerous honors, including the National Supplier of the Year Award from the U.S. Air Force and the 2001 Connecticut Inner-City 10 Entrepreneurship Award. Soto himself was named Arthur Young & Company’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Manufacturing and the Small Business Administration’s New England Businessman of the Year Award. In 1999, he was recognized for philanthropy at a White House Conference event. He has devoted countless hours to a variety of charitable organizations, especially those whose mission is helping Connecticut’s youth.

In 1987, Gladys Soto decided to transition the knowledge and expertise she gained working with senior citizens from the public sector to a private service enterprise. Her desire was to offer a creative, quality option of care to elders living at home and living independently. It became part of a growing innovation that turned into an unforgettable experience.  
As President and CEO of Sunset Shores Adult Day Center and its divisions, Gladys Soto launched her love for working with senior citizens into a thriving and compassionate eldercare business. The team approach, hard work, and creativity have been the driving force behind Sunset’s small business success.


Ms. Soto is a familiar, proven leader and entrepreneur in the adult day care industry, participating in statewide and national aging adult initiatives. Sunset Shores and its divisions demonstrate that quality caring and compassion are the cornerstones of its success.

Ms. Soto credits her husband, John, and family for believing in the vision. In addition to her business memberships, Ms. Soto also actively supports a variety of charities as well as sponsoring and co-chairing events with her husband, John.