360 awards youth outreach funding to partner institutions for K-12 outreach

Bemidji, MN—360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence is pleased to announce it awarded $149,872 to its partner colleges for 19 different events designed to cultivate youth’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as introduce them to related careers in modern manufacturing.

These events started this winter and will continue into the summer of 2017. Each event gives students a chance to develop and learn how their skills in STEM can lead to future career opportunities. These include career expos and summer camps where students have hands-on experience with robotics, mechanical design software, welding, and more. In many cases, industry members are part of planning the events, and students have the chance to interact with manufacturers at the events and through tours.

“Minnesota’s advanced manufacturing industry is in search of future employees with the knowledge of STEM subjects, as well as the skills and education to fill the shortage of skilled workers in Minnesota and the broader region,” says Jeremy Leffelman, executive director of 360. “These events expose students, teachers and parents to career opportunities in a high-pay, family-supporting high-tech industry – advanced manufacturing.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota added 11,900 jobs alone this past December; the number of jobs available in the industry is continuously growing.