Ten grants, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 were awarded by NBT to community and technical colleges offering day camp experiences that introduce young people ages 12 to 18 to careers in manufacturing and engineering. Major sponsors of these camps are the CNA Foundation of Chicago and San Francisco-based Corenet Inc.
The 2013 grant winners (listed alphabetically by state) are:
• Northeast Alabama Community College, Rainsville, Ala.
• Chabot College, Hayward, Calif.
• Triton College, River Grove, Ill.
• Anoka Technical College, Anoka, Minn.
• Itawamba Community College, Tupelo, Miss.
• Manchester Community College, Manchester, N.H.
• Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton, Va.
• Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wis. (3 programs)
• Moraine Park Technical College, West Bend, Wis. (Affiliate camp)
"There is a demand for highly-skilled professionals who can design, program, and operate technology, and we don't see that demand subsiding for decades," says Traci Tapani, NBT board chair and co-president of Wyoming Machine Inc., a metal fabrication services company in Stacy, MN. "Creating a skilled manufacturing workforce is vital to the American economy, and it all starts with introducing young people to the career potential in this sector and providing an engaging hands-on experience. Inspiring youth to consider these trades will have a positive effect on graduation rates, increase the chance for them to earn a living wage, and create a more qualified workforce in the participating communities," Tapani added.
"We're making an investment in the manufacturing workforce. We need to increase the pool of available, highly skilled workers to address the skilled labor crisis as Baby Boomers retire. These camps provide youth with the exposure to vocational and technical trades that no longer exist in most public education systems. Introducing youth to well-paying, high-tech manufacturing careers will definitely improve future prospects for our economy," said Edward Youdell, president & CEO of FMA and NBT.
The camps target middle- and high school-aged youth, exposing them to math, science and engineering principles, and giving them opportunities to tour companies, work directly with technology, and design and manufacture a product to take home with them.
Supporting these camps with CAD/CAM student edition software is SolidWorks Corporation.