Learning incentives: Grants for student manufacturing, engineering camp

Summer camps will introduce introducing students to manufacturing and engineering careers, as a result of two engineering-related foundations.


Rockford, IL – 

Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation (NBTF) is dedicated to introducing young people to the joys of tinkering, inspiring the next generation of skilled manual artists, engineers, and inventors. See more at www.nutsandboltsfoundation.org .

Grants of $2,500 to $5,000 are available to not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions to offer overnight or day-camp experiences next summer to introduce young people to careers in manufacturing and engineering.
They are a collaborative effort between Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Foundation (FMAF) and Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation (NBTF), founded by actor John Ratzenberger, best known as Cliff on NBC’s "Cheers," and a champion of U.S. manufacturing. The charitable organization is dedicated to introducing young people to the joys of tinkering, inspiring the next generation of skilled manual artists, engineers, and inventors. FMA Foundation, an educational, research, and charitable organization, promotes metal forming and fabricating technology in manufacturing.
Manufacturing camps provide a positive, hands-on experience that encourage young people to consider manufacturing a career option. Camps target people between 12 and 16 years old; preference is given to organizations serving minority populations. The application deadline is Dec. 12, 2008.
“There is a demographic shift in the U.S. workforce caused by retiring baby boomers, and the manufacturing sector is already feeling the impact,” said Ratzenberger. “There is an ever-increasing demand for highly skilled professionals who can design, program and operate technology. I can think of no enterprise more worthy than one devoted to inspiring the next generation of engineers, builders and manufacturers. I am proud to be a partner with FMA and know that with each child who attends one of our camps or pursues a career in manufacturing, we are rebuilding America's foundation one tinkerer at a time.”
“We’re making an investment in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Terrence Egan, director of FMAF. “This is critical to the economy of the cities where the camps occur and to the nation in general.” These camps provide youth with the exposure to vocational and technical trades that no longer exist in all public education systems. 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 and community development in impoverished areas.”
Suggested curriculum for a week-long manufacturing camp might include a day or two of introduction to CAD software, a day or more in a fabrication shop or training facility, and a day touring regional manufacturing facilities. Grant funds may be used for expenses related to curriculum development and instruction, and for expenses such as housing, meals, transportation, and supplies. Expenses related to the purchase of software or capital expenditures do not qualify. Camps target youth at the level of secondary education, exposing them to math, science, and engineering principles, permitting them to see technology being used in industry and the level of skills that will be required from the workforce.
Grant recipients will be named at the Metal Matters 2009 executive summit, a three-day conference sponsored by FMA and The Tube & Pipe Association, Intl. (TPA), March 25-27, 2009, at Carefree Resort and Villa near Phoenix.
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