Founded in 1972 by Stephen Altschuler, a U.S. veteran with a Masters in Engineering from Yale University, Altek started with 10 employees and less than $500K in first year revenue. Today, Altek, a family business, is owned by Stephen Altschuler, David Altschuler, and Sabrina Beck.
Located on Commercial Blvd in Torrington, Altek now employs over 180 people. They manufacture electronic printed circuit board assemblies which are used throughout many different industries including medical, industrial/commercial, aerospace, defense, and telecommunication. The assemblies are used in many different products including mammography machines, flight simulators, elevators, garment cutting machines, and more.
What lessons did you learn through play as a child that inspired you to start your business/create your product?
When Altek founder Stephen Altschuler was a boy, his older brother Sam was in the army stationed at the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Sam sent Steve a crystal radio for Christmas. Steve rolled a coil on a cardboard tube, connected it to the crystal, and using a set of headphones was able to listen to the local radio station. The thrill of hearing the radio on his device sparked the beginning of his passion for electronics. Steve joined a group called the American Radio Relay League. He studied to earn his amateur radio license, and went to the FCC testing center in NYC to take the test, which he passed. After becoming a HAM radio operator, Steve talked to people all over the world using Morse code. Steve used his new found passion for radios to get a job repairing radios and televisions for a local repair shop. Steve continued his studies in scientific courses in high school, went to UConn to study electronic engineering, and received his Master’s degree at Yale University. In 1972, Steve started his own business, Altek Company.
Why it is important for young children to learn about science and technology?
Science and Technology is exciting, you can make a good living at it, and it’s helpful to society.
How do you see play as an inspiration for children to learn?
Play allows children to experiment, use their imagination, and learn new things, such as the laws of the universe, physics, how things move, etc.
What would you like to convey through your display at The Summer Fete?
We’d like to convey that manufacturing is a vibrant and important part of CT’s economy. Altek employs close to 200 CT residents, giving them the means to make their car payments, pay their mortgages and support their families.