Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council donates over $ 10,000 to Career-Tech Center

Last Friday, the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council (GTAMC) donated more than $ 10,000 to the Engineering Academy at Northwest Education Services Career-Tech Center. The donation comes from funds raised during the GTAMC Golf Outing, an event held annually to benefit the Academy of Engineering program. The total donation amount – $ 10,874.16 – is the largest amount of money GTAMC has ever raised in its 25-year history of its annual golf trip fundraiser.

The Academy of Engineering at Career-Tech Center – recently renamed to its old name, the Academy of Manufacturing Technology – is described as “an award-winning program for high school and senior students that incorporates courses in science, math, economics. and English around the themes of technology, robotics, manufacturing and engineering.

“We want to make sure the manufacturers are supported by having good educational resources available locally,” said Kevin Olds, GTAMC board member and organizer of the golf trip. “We don’t want people to graduate from high school and go to engineering school and then move to Texas or Florida or California. We want them to come home and support the manufacturers here. We have tons of manufacturing in this area, and these manufacturers are always looking for a good help. And these are also better paying jobs. We are therefore organizing this event specifically to support [the Engineering Academy] and to interest young children in careers in manufacturing. “

According to Debbie Oliver, who has been an instructor at Engineering Academy since 1996, the program has a strong track record of graduating students who end up “boomeranging” back to northern Michigan for jobs in the area. Currently, program alumni are working with local companies such as Britten, Cone Drive, Promethient, SMI Aerospace, Kennametal, Electro Optics Technology, RM Young, RJG, Hayes Manufacturing, Century, Birch Infrastructure, Grand Traverse Plastics, Graceland Fruit, Team Elmer’s, and more.

Pat Lamb, who is director of the Career-Tech Center and deputy superintendent of vocational and technical education for Northwest Education Services, told The Ticker that GTAMC has raised more than $ 100,000 for the Career-Tech Center since the start of the golf outing. Most years, the money is used to fund a trip for Engineering Academy students to Marion, Ohio, where they compete in the National Robotics Challenge.

“We appreciate the manufacturers and their involvement in our program so much,” Lamb said. “They have not only been very supportive of this golf outing, but many of them are mentors to our students, and those contributions go beyond dollar amounts. What sets our program apart from other programs is the mentorship offered to our students by the manufacturers participating in GTAMC. The number of them that allow our students to enter their facilities for work experience or paid co-op experience is critical to the success of the program.

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