The PMMI Foundation is pleased to support 20 total 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). In an effort to narrow the growing skills gap, the PMMI Foundation and NBT are partnering to develop summer camps that educate and inspire the future manufacturing workforce to explore career opportunities in packaging and processing.
The grant will support and allow approximately 300 students, ages 12 to 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 United States.
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.
“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,” says Edward Youdell, president and CEO of FMA and NBT. “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 1998, the PMMI Foundation has provided over $2 million in financial support to students studying packaging, food processing, engineering and mechatronics at over 40 partner schools throughout the United States and Canada. For more information visit pmmi.org/workforce-development/foundation.