ELGIN, Ill. — The PMMI Foundation, Reston, Virginia, is supporting ten summer manufacturing camps in 2020 and 2021 with a $100,000 grant to Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs (NBT), the Foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l. (FMA). With common awareness of the career paths and needs of these collaborative industries, the PMMI Foundation and NBT are partnering to develop summer camps that educate and inspire the future workforce to explore careers in manufacturing with the goal of narrowing the growing skills gap. The grant will support and allow approximately 300 students, ages 12-16, to be introduced to the manufacturing process from design through production. “One of the most wide-spread challenges cited by our members is how to address the growing skills gap within the packaging and processing equipment manufacturing industry,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “The partnership between the PMMI Foundation and Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs is an exciting opportunity to reach and inspire young people to pursue careers in manufacturing.”
One- or two-week long summer camps have been a successful way of introducing middle and high school students to the fascinating, high-tech career choices available to them in today’s advanced manufacturing industry. Camps allow students to make something with their own hands, sparking their imagination and encouraging them to consider a career in manufacturing. This summer, NBT will support a record number of 133 camps across the U.S.
To be eligible for camp grant funding, schools must be able to accommodate at least 12 students at their facility, direct an entrepreneurship camp curriculum, introduce manufacturing processes that allow hands-on experiences to build a take-home project and provide opportunities to tour local manufacturing plants during the camp.
Edward Youdell, president and CEO of FMA and NBT, stated, “For most of the kids who attend these camps, it is their first introduction to how things are made and what skills are required for entry into the world of manufacturing. The associated tours of manufacturing businesses that these campers take part in, help to connect the skills they learn during camp to career opportunities available in their community. We can’t start too early in our effort to attract the best and brightest into manufacturing.”
Since 2005, NBT has awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to trade schools, community and technical colleges, and high schools in 36 states across the U.S. to host sumer camps that have served over 5,000 students, encouraging them to pursue careers in manufacturing. For more information visit nutsandboltsfoundation.org/camps.