Manufacturing

  • 2015 Young Manufacturers Academies Underway

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    08.03.2015

     

    2015 Young Manufacturers Academies Underway

     

    The 2015 Young Manufacturers Academies kick off today and take place at 9 locations through Friday, August 7.  This year’s Academies are presented in partnership with the Gene Haas Foundation, Albermarle Corporation, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, El Dorado Chemical, Entergy-Arkansas, Great Lakes Solutions, Lennox Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., and Martin Midstream Partners.  

     

    Young Manufacturers Academies are the signature program of Dream It. Do It. Arkansas, which was developed in partnership with the Manufacturing Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, employers, Arkansas’s education system, our workforce development agencies and economic development organizations statewide. 

     

    This week, some 250 young people from grades 7-9 are participating in the Young Manufacturers Academies program, whose primary goal is to grow and develop the manufacturing workforce pipeline in the middle grades, a critical juncture in need of particular attention.   The Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation has partnered with two-year colleges from around the state to host the Academies.  Academy sites include Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville, Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, National Park College in Hot Springs, North Arkansas College in Harrison, Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale, SAU Tech in Camden, Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff, SouthArk Community College in El Dorado, and University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton.

     

    “The manufacturing industry is facing an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers that will intensify as the baby boom generation retires. If we are to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy, the pipeline of students prepared to enter manufacturing careers must be increased,” says Randy Zook, President of the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation and President & CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber/AIA. “Too many people still think of manufacturing as dirty, dangerous assembly line jobs, requiring low skill and offering poor pay.  The reality is that manufacturing today takes place in high-tech facilities and there are many opportunities for young people with the right skills to be innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial in a range of high-wage, interesting careers.” 

     

    Since today's manufacturing requires technology literacy, reasoning, and problem-solving proficiencies, students must recognize the value of academic achievement in STEM and aspire to that achievement as a component of future career success. To accomplish this, students must have opportunities to participate in hands-on experiences with manufacturing-related activities that are contemporary, driven by the field, and STEM-rich.

     

    The Young Manufacturers Academies offer students the opportunity to explore the broad range of high-wage, interesting careers that today’s advanced manufacturing offers. This manufacturing-themed program uses an innovative approach to STEM-learning through authentic experiences that generates student engagement to grow and develop a rapidly shrinking skilled workforce pipeline.

     

    Founded in 1991, the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation is a business-led, solutions development and research organization, working in partnership with state business leaders and government officials to advance public knowledge and understanding of Economics & Finance, Education & Career Training, Human Relations, Science & Technology, Domestic & International Relations, Issues Contributing to a Rising Quality of Life, as well as other subjects related to improving Efficiency, Development and Acceleration of Economic Growth and Employment Opportunities.

     

    The Foundation, in a manner consistent with its education and research priorities, works in partnership with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce & Associated Industries of Arkansas to deliver objective information regarding issues confronting Arkansas businesses and residents today.

     

    For More Information, Contact Andrew Parker at aparker@arkansasstatechamber.com or (501) 372-2222.

     

     

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  • Gene Haas Foundation Grants $65,000 To Support Young Manufacturing Academies & Arkansas Technical Programs

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    07.24.2015

     

    Gene Haas Foundation Grants $65,000 To Support Young Manufacturing Academies & Arkansas Technical Programs

     

    The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded $65,000 in grants to various Arkansas colleges to conduct Young Manufacturing Academies from August 3 to August 7, 2015, according to Kathy Looman, Executive Director of the Gene Haas Foundation.

     

    In addition to a $15,000 grant awarded to the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation to support this year's Young Manufacturing Academies, the Gene Haas Foundation has made additional direct awards totaling $50,000 to: Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville, Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale, Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff, North Arkansas College in Harrison, National Park Community College in Hot Springs, and College of the Ouachitas in Malvern.  These funds will provide operational support, supplies and curriculum for these Academies and promote technical learning opportunities for students. 

     

    “Through the extraordinary support of the Gene Haas Foundation and cooperating colleges, the Associated Industries of Arkansas Foundation will oversee ten Young Manufacturing Academies in 2015 to educate approximately 250, seventh to ninth grade students about the benefits of a STEM-related education and the opportunities within Arkansas’s manufacturing sectors,” says Randy Zook, AIA Foundation President and Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas President & CEO.

     

    About Mr. Gene Haas & the Gene Haas Foundation

     

    Gene Haas is the owner Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools.  Started in 1983, Mr. Gene Haas has built his company into a billion dollar operation.  His leadership and sector know-how quickly resulted in extraordinary growth – notably, in an era when Americans were told that the United States doesn’t manufacture anything at home anymore.

     

    According to Mr. Haas, “Misguided perceptions and decisions made in our education system regarding vocational education have led to dire statistics in our manufacturing sectors.  A recent report called The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond, projects that, ‘Over the next decade, nearly three and a half million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled, and the skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.’” Gene’s commitment to the importance of U.S. manufacturing has motivated him to create and invest in his personal foundation and direct his board to focus on manufacturing education and grants for scholarships for students entering CNC machinist training.  These grants help ensure that important technical programs are able to properly educate students and expand to meet future demand.  Mr. Haas’s business and philanthropic efforts have not diminished his commitment to the community that supports him and his 1 million square foot manufacturing facility.

     

    To date, more than 1,200 charitable 501(c)(3) organizations and schools have received funds totally over $30 million from the Gene Haas Foundation.

     

    The Young Manufacturing Academies: A Part of the Dream It. Do It. Network. 

     

    Young Manufacturers Academies are designed to reach young people from grades 6 through 11 who are interested in technical professional careers in manufacturing. Over 600 young people participated in YMAs in 2014 and we expect an even greater level of participation this summer.

     

    In addition to those listed above, and with the generous support of Entergy-Arkansas, Albermarle Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Corp., Young Manufacturers Academies will be hosted on the following two-year college campuses: Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, SAU Tech in Camden, South Arkansas College in El Dorado, and UA Community College in Morrilton.  An additional Academy is in development at GoodWill Industries Education Center in Little Rock.

     

    The 2015 Young Manufactures Academies are the signature program of Dream It. Do It. Arkansas.  Dream It. Do It. Arkansas was developed in partnership with The Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers, and a collaboration between employers, our educational system, our workforce development agencies and economic development organizations to address the critical shortage of qualified workers.  Dream It. Do It. Arkansas will educate students, parents and educators on the importance of career and technical training necessary to pursue high-wage careers in manufacturing in Arkansas.

     

    For more information on the Young Manufacturers Academies, contact Andrew Parker at aparker@arkansasstatechamber.com or (501) 372-2222.