WINONA LAKE – The Grace College Department of Engineering received a $150,000 grant from the Don Wood Foundation to purchase industrial-grade robotics and update the system controller for its testing frames.
These equipment additions and updates will increase the program’s industry relevance and enhance its partnerships with industry experts, according to a news release from Grace.
The new equipment will be used in classes, labs and projects and will allow the engineering students to run their own tests with equipment that is commonly used on the manufacturing floor.
“Grace College is grateful for the generous support of the Don Wood Foundation as we expand the impact of our engineering program. We look forward to seeing the rippling effects of the new equipment for our students, for elementary and high school students in the community, for local start-up businesses and for industry partners,” said Grace College President Dr. Bill Katip. “With the motto ‘engineered to serve,’ our engineering students and faculty are always looking outward.”
Based in Columbia City, the Don Wood Foundation exists to grow and strengthen the manufacturing sector in the region by bolstering educational opportunities between students, community and industry, the release states.
“We are pleased to be able to support Grace College’s Department of Engineering,” said Laura Macknick, executive director of the Don Wood Foundation. “We applaud their pursuit of industry partnerships outside of campus. The Grace engineering program also has the potential to generate excitement between the intersection of engineering and manufacturing with a younger generation, which strategically aligns with our foundation’s mission.”
Grace College Chair of the Department of Engineering Dr. Fred Wentorf said, “Few schools are blessed to have the industry interactions that we have at Grace, and this grant is only going to build upon the relationships that we already have. I’m exceedingly grateful to the Don Wood Foundation for investing in our students and partnering in our mission to produce well-rounded graduates who are ready to tackle the complicated world of engineering with confidence, humility, and a heart for service.”
To learn more about the Grace College Department of Engineering, visit www.grace.edu/academics/undergraduate/academic-schools-departments/sc/department-engineering/.
HCCSC and the Huntington County Community Learning Center put shovel to dirt on Thursday, commemorating the official beginning of the Learning Center’s expansion project with a groundbreaking ceremony.
Preliminary discussions for the expansion began in the fall of 2019, with plans beginning to be initiated in the spring of 2020. The projected occupancy date for the expansion is currently set for Sept. 15, 2021.
The expansion will add 20,478 square feet to the Learning Center for a total of 49,784 square feet in all. Included in the expansion is a welding bay and classroom, advanced manufacturing lab and classroom, industrial maintenance classroom and lab, criminal justice classroom and simulation room and remote learning lab. An additional 1,000 square feet of precision machining space, added storage space, safety stations and one general education classroom are also included in the expansion.
Of note within the expansion is the new 2,907 square-foot welding bay, a substantial upgrade over the current welding bay measuring approximately 900 square feet. The new welding bay will accommodate 22 individuals at a time, a large increase over the 12 stations featured in the current bay. Additionally, the industrial maintenance lab and classroom will create space for future building trades and pre-apprenticeship programs.
The Learning Center received a grant of $202,512 on Jan. 1 from the Don Wood Foundation (formerly known as the 80/20 Foundation Trust) for use on the new advanced manufacturing lab. The grant money will be utilized for the purchase of one computer numerical control (CNC) mill, one CNC lathe and six manual lathes.
Barton-Coe-Vilamaa of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, was selected as the architect for the expansion, while Hagerman, Inc., also of Ft. Wayne, is serving as the construction manager. The approved final bid for the construction featured a total cost of $4,156,620. However, as of the groundbreaking ceremony, the project is approximately $148,000 under the projected budget.
The Learning Center opened in 2016, with the dedication ceremony taking place on Sept. 15, 2016. The Learning Center’s original square footage totaled 29,603 with a construction cost of $1.45 million.
The Learning Center is a hub for career readiness, job search, workplace certifications and college learning opportunities. The Learning Center’s chief aim is to improve the skills of high school students and adult learners in Huntington County to meet the workforce needs of local industries.
In addition to HCCSC, the Learning Center’s tenants include Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, WorkOne Northeast and Huntington University. Impact Institute and the Huntington County 4H Robotics Team are also located at the Learning Center. The Learning Center is also open to many community partners that regularly use the Community Conference Room for meetings and trainings.
The Learning Center offers many programs to its tenants. Huntington North High School students are able to take automotive, certified nurse aide, criminal justice, emergency medical technician, precision machining and welding courses. With the exception of criminal justice, each course is offered for dual credit. Huntington North students also have access to internship opportunities. Impact Institute offers adult basic education, formerly known as the GED program. Ivy Tech currently offers welding and industrial maintenance courses and has offered CNC machining and various academic courses in the past.
More information about the Learning Center is available by calling (260) 356-2858 or by visiting www.HuntingtonLearning.org
The 80/20 Foundation Trust, a philanthropic organization dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing in the region, has announced that they will begin operating under the Don Wood Foundation. The name change will reflect the vision and continue the legacy of founder Don Wood.
Changing the name of the Foundation would more accurately honor Mr. Wood and his generosity. “The Board of Trustees decided to transition away from our previous identity of the 80/20 Foundation Trust and become known in the community as the Don Wood Foundation in order to better tell the Don Wood story,” said John Wood, chairman of the Board and the founder’s son. “This name change allows us to honor Dad’s legacy and rightfully acknowledge that the funds establishing this foundation will be provided from his private estate.”
The purpose behind the name change is to recognize the source of this gift legacy and to clarify the status of the Foundation as a private, independent foundation. The funds that establish the Don Wood Foundation come by way of Mr. Wood’s personal estate. It is truly his personal philanthropy that is generating this generous legacy and it should be acknowledged.
“The Don Wood Foundation looks forward to creating continued partnerships by way of providing resources to nonprofit organizations doing important work in advancing manufacturing and entrepreneurship,” said Laura Macknick, executive director. “The rebranding of our foundation does not change our commitment to the communities that we serve.”
Posted January 28, 2021
GARRETT — Garrett High School has received $149,000 in funding from the 80/20 Foundation Trust for new equipment for the school’s Career Development Program.
Danielle Rich, grants manager for the foundation, presented the check to Chad Sutton, director of Garrett’s Career Development Program Jan. 25.
The trust, born from the legacy of Don Wood, is based in Columbia City. Its key grant areas include industrial, machine tool and engineering technology, sales, entrepreneurism and leadership.
Sutton said the grant will be used to purchase a Lincoln Torch-mate 4z8 Plasma Table to support welding and engineering/design programs supporting collaboration between programs and opportunities within the industry plus additional miscellaneous equipment to support structural welding and the school’s engineering and design program.
“This grant will be extremely instrumental as we move forward with the relevant opportunities created for our students,” Sutton said. “It will support, enhance, and help to develop the manufacturing content within the Career Development Program at Garrett High School.”
The CDP currently has a structural welding program and a computer-aided design program. The welding program consists of 21 college credits, four industry recognized credentials and a CT certificate from Ivy Tech. The computer-aided design program consists of 18 college credits, three industry-recognized credentials and a CT certificate from Ivy Tech. Each program focuses on developing industry-relevant skills and academic integration.
Garrett High School freshmen and sophomores in the CDP experience an equal amount of construction and manufacturing curriculum. As juniors and seniors, students focus on a singular path of study, such as construction, manufacturing, architecture engineering and design or heavy highway.
Those involved in the program receive industry certifications and dual college credits, which prepare the students for immediate workforce entry and or continuing education at the secondary level. Often, students participate in internships that supplement the experience in their chosen path, Sutton said.
Read the original article at: https://www.kpcnews.com/garrettclipper/article_ed18f6c3-d872-506a-8f98-a53685bbba06.html
Posted January 21, 2021
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – On Thursday, East Allen County Schools (EACS) received funding from the 80/20 Foundation Trust for new equipment for the school’s career center.
The trust, born from the legacy of Don Wood, gave EACS a $100 thousand check to buy state-of-the-art equipment. The school said the funds will prepare students to contribute to Indiana’s workforce.
“The industry here in northeast Indiana uses a lot of Hoss equipment and that’s where it’s going is to buy Hoss machines and therefore they’ll actually be able to translate what they’re learning in here directly into a job with local industry partners,” said Philip Springer, precision machining instructor.
EACS 11th and 12th graders involved in the career center will receive industry certifications and dual college credits which prepares the students for immediate workforce entry or continuing education, according to the EACS website.
For more information on the EACS Career Center, click here.
Read the original article and watch the video at: https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/eacs-career-center-receives-100k-donation-for-new-equipment/
ABC WPTA 21 posted two video interviews highlighting the Whitko Career Academy and the excellent addition it is to the community. The 80/20 Foundation Trust is proud to be a WCA partner. Click to view the Videos below.
Video interview highlighting the many different programs helping students jump-start their future.
Vide interview highlighting the Precision Machine, Manufacturing and Welding Department.
Posted Sunday, November 2, 2020
An initiative spearheaded by Community Foundation of Whitley County is breathing new life into their Northeast Indiana community. It’s bringing together local funders, elected officials, corrections leaders, judges, service providers, educators, employers and healthcare professionals to align resources. These groups are working under an umbrella—free from silos, egos, or agendas—for the betterment of those calling Whitley County home.
In early 2017, Whitley County began to experience a series of concerning events. The county unemployment rate dipped below 3% while the list of unfilled, skilled labor jobs grew exponentially. The County jail had the highest recidivism rate (77%) in the state of Indiana. A local elementary school requested funding to expand a before- and after-school program because it was safer for students to stay at school than to be at home. One of the County’s three local school districts was forced to close their middle school building because of declining enrollment. The Indiana Hospital Association identified Whitley County as having an extraordinarily high rate of opiate prescriptions. The local public community mental health organization offered no effective substance abuse treatment. The Whitley County Department of Children’s Services tripled their staff size to accommodate the snowballing number of children requiring their intervention.
The time for courageous leadership had come.
After convening a community forum to more fully understand resident needs, the Community Foundation of Whitley County, led by CEO September McConnell, took aim and coordinated a strategic community framework known as Next Level Whitley County. Goals of the framework include reducing jail recidivism, addressing employment shortages in their manufacturing community, and combating the growing burden on social service organizations that are seeing increased trauma in local youth.
Soon after the formation of Next Level Whitley County, solutions began to surface.
New programs and services were created for children affected by trauma, incarceration, and addiction. The closed school building was re-opened as a career academy offering job training and certifications to both adults and high school students. A new Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) was passed that will generate much needed funding for expanded community corrections services. New mental health and substance abuse services have started in Whitley County and will be available to inmates in the jail. And the local homeless shelter re-launched as a licensed residential recovery center and identified a three-year plan to expand their service platform.
In 2020, Whitley County, like the rest of the world, has been hit with increased stress, instability, and hardship brought on by COVID-19. Next Level Whitley County’s vision for community investment and support for vulnerable residents is timelier than ever, and projects spawning from the initiative are taking shape.
Improving Local Economy and Addressing Employment ShortagesOne of Next Level Whitley County’s most prominent projects has been the launch of Whitko Career Academy in Fall 2020.
A part of Whitko Community Schools, covering Kosciusko and Whitley Counties, the academy helps students test and identify career pathways as early as eighth grade. Focuses include health services, agriculture, engineering, skilled trades, and public services, such as business law, culinary arts, and cosmetology. Those enrolled use state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and have access to superior instructors and mentors embedded in the local workforce. Students can graduate with associate degrees along with skills that can immediately lead to strong living wages right in the area—a region boasting the world’s top orthopedic companies and expanding agribusiness.
The academy includes an impressive agriculture lab—fully equipped to house livestock—and a greenhouse for planting and seed production. Here, students learn the business of agriculture and how to operate heavy machinery. They even have the opportunity to sustain shrimp farms and hydroponics, while helping manage related budgets and revenue.
To fund the academy, the community foundation teamed up with philanthropic partner 80/20 Foundation Trust, who invested over $2.8 million into the project. This was one of the largest grants given and received inside of Whitley County. Supporting the academy was a perfect match for the newly formed foundation, which is on a mission to strengthen Northeast Indiana’s manufacturing sector.
80/20 Foundation Trust was formed after Whitley County’s largest employer, 80/20 Inc., became an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in 2016. With the foundation, founder Don Wood hoped to create opportunities for students that allow them to pursue careers in industrial trades, advanced manufacturing, leadership, and innovation.
Other new funding support has come to Whitko, including the largest Career Ladders Grant in Indiana. Funds allow the school system to raise staff salaries throughout the district, provide quality professional development, and increase new teacher salaries—the first time in seven years—to be among the most competitive in the area. A victory for all, students benefit from trained teachers who are among the top paid professionals in their field, and the community attracts top candidates within the school.
Supporting Social Service Organizations Seeing Increased Trauma in Youth
One of the catalysts in starting the work included in Next Level Whitley County was the plea from an elementary school principal who was concerned for the safety of students living in an eroding mobile-home park. Those discussions led to the opening of a new community center in September 2020. The center is planted directly within this neighborhood to better support the people living there. The structure was donated by local business Whitley Manufacturing.
Running programs through the community center is Mission 25, a nonprofit that has long provided pathways of prevention, transition, and restoration for local homeless people. A GIFT VII implementation grant by Whitley County Community Foundation allows the center to hire new staff as their programming expands. The first hire is someone who came out of that same troubled neighborhood. Overcoming adversity and graduating with a degree, this person is dedicated to helping others navigate similar hardships. Not only do they serve as a role model for youth in the neighborhood, they’re offering a level of trust and comfort.
Reducing Jail Recidivism
In an effort to address jail overcrowding and a high recidivism rate, the Whitley County Community Foundation is working with community corrections to coordinate plans for a new work release center. Breaking ground in 2021, the center will be built around a therapeutic community model. This new approach to corrections embraces support for mental health, substance abuse, and vocational training.
Ultimately, the program will connect with the Whitko Career Academy to offer skills training and certifications for adults, as well as Mission 25 for on-going support services as inmates transition back into the community. Adult classes at the academy will be run by Freedom Academy. Specializing in workforce certifications and professional development throughout Northeast Indiana, this nonprofit has long been supported by another important local funder and convener—Dekko Foundation.
Whitley County Community Foundation’s leadership role under CEO September McConnell in shepherding key players and aligning resources has been a critical component in making these projects happen. This work requires a passion for community, an ability to inspire others to join in promising solutions, and a long-term mindset to make lasting change. All characteristics community philanthropy is made for.
Read the original article at: https://www.inphilanthropy.org/news/whitley-county-tackles-skilled-labor-shortages-jail-recidivism-and-youth-trauma
The following was released on Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2020
LARWILL, IND. (07/21/2020) One year after an initial investment of $400,000 in 2019 to begin the Whitko Career Academy, the 80/20 Foundation Trust, led by John Wood and the Board of Directors, decided unanimously to invest an additional $2,433,877 in the future of manufacturing.
Whitko Community Schools will use the grant funding for renovations to the Larwill campus and investments in technology that will propel the career academy toward success in courses focused in engineering and skilled trades, according to a news release from Whitko.
“Through the engineering program, students will learn to use the most up-to-date CAD, 3D modeling software and equipment to learn fundamental drafting, geometric constructions, ANSI standards, residential design and site work. Students will be prepared for career paths as engineers, architects and interior designers,” said Director of Whitko Career Academy Joe Luce. “Skilled Trades students will learn numerous aspects of construction through hands-on completion of different building projects. Students will be preparing for careers in carpentry, masonry and cost estimating, with a cross over into advanced manufacturing, engineering and automation.”
The 80/20 Foundation Trust was born from the legacy of Don Wood, 80/20 Inc. co-founder, along with his sons, John and Doug Wood.
The foundation aims to fill the pipeline for skilled workers in the manufacturing industry, as well as to foster leadership, sales, innovation and entrepreneurism, the release states. The foundation trust started in fall 2017 and received its nonprofit status in summer 2018.
The 80/20 Foundation Trust is led by John Wood, who sits as chairman of the board, and Laura Macknick, inaugural executive director. While it shares its namesake with 80/20 Inc., funding for the 80/20 Foundation Trust comes directly from the Don Wood Estate, and plans are underway to update the foundation name to further clarify that distinction.
John Wood, a machinist himself, has spent his entire career in manufacturing and is passionate about all things mechanical, according to the release.
“We’re happy to provide this funding to retrofit the Larwill building and to purchase new equipment that will be necessary for the success of the Whitko Career Academy,” he said.
As for the funding, potentially the largest grant given and received inside of Whitley County; funds will primarily be dispersed across investments in technology and building renovations at the Whitko Larwill campus. Expenses of the project include nearly $1 million in machine and welding equipment and tools inclusive of six CNC mill lathes, three CNC 3D printers, nine manual/CNC lathes, engineering computers, one screen touch boards, tool storage, welding booths, plasma table, chop saws, six Lincoln Welders, silver solder torches and fume extractors and a welding fixture table.
WCA necessary teaching staff and support will receive $300,000 to fund positions in agriculture, healthcare, cosmetology, agriculture maintenance and mechanical, precision machine, career, construction, construction/engineering and maintenance teachers as well as a machine shop aid, work placement specialist and an administrative assistant for WCA.
Meanwhile, another $1 million of the grant will be directed toward site renovations including an advanced manufacturing laboratory and entrance lobby to the AML, AML tool crib, an engineering laboratory, welding lab, fabrication lab and corridor upgrades which will include the removal of the existing carpets and an installation of epoxy flooring. Additional minimum exterior upgrades such as stone access routes for deliveries and repairing disturbed glass areas of the building will also be used by this portion of the grant.
“We know there are a lot of career paths, and a four-year degree is appropriate for some students, but for others, they can earn a strong living wage right here in Whitley County. The board’s desire is to promote the Whitley County economy through this grant and cultivate our own talent within the community building a stronger skilled workforce,” said Macknick.
Asked to comment on the partnership between Whitko Community Schools and the 80/20 Foundation Trust, Whitko Superintendent Dr. Brandon Penrod said, “Our gratitude toward the 80/20 Foundation Trust cannot be overstated. Especially with this most recent grant, we consider ourselves very fortunate to have a partner who can support our school at this level. We are witnessing excitement from our Whitko families for the future of their children because of this investment in the career academy. It’s an incredible gift we’ve been given, and we believe it is providing momentum for students well beyond their years at Whitko as they move into careers and vocations right here in their local communities.”
Whitko Career Academy and Whitko Community Schools is slated to begin their first day of school on Aug. 13.
View Online: Times Union & Ink Free News
The following was released on Wednesday, Jul. 8, 2020
FORT WAYNE, IND. (07/08/2020) Northeast Indiana residents wanting to join the manufacturing industry have a new option to pay for the schooling they need.Questa Education Foundation and 80/20 Foundation Trust announced Tuesday a two-year pilot program seeking to support at least 10 students with a forgivable loan award, up to $2,500 each semester.
Up to 75% of the total loan could be forgiven, according to a news release.
“With so many manufacturing workers displaced by the pandemic, this program comes at a critical time to offer support for those individuals pursuing the next step in their education and their careers,” Laura Macknick, executive director of 80/20 Foundation Trust, said in a statement.
Her organization works to grow and strengthen the manufacturing sector in northeast Indiana.
Students will receive up to 50% loan forgiveness by committing to live and work in northeast Indiana for five years after graduation. An additional 25% forgiveness will be awarded to those attending a partnering institution, the release said.
New high school graduates and adult learners may apply, the release said.
The program applies to students pursuing a college-level certificate or degree in areas including advanced automation and robotics technology, advanced manufacturing, electrical engineering, business management, industrial technology, machine tool technology, mechanical engineering, and supply chain management, the release said.
Questa – which helps people attain education beyond high school and graduate with less debt – is grateful for the vision and support of the 80/20 Foundation, said Liz Bushnell, executive director.
“This program is an example of how Questa can collaborate with businesses and other industries to develop the talent pipeline for their specific needs, all while helping residents access education and graduate with less debt,” Bushnell said in a statement.
Interested individuals can go online to www.questafoundation.org for details.
View Online: The Journal Gazette