Scholarships break down barriers for students in manufacturing

A partnership will make it easier to learn manufacturing at NWTC
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Fifty Northeast Wisconsin students got a surprise when they found out they would be able to attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical College debt-free.

It’s part of a growing effort in the state to address manufacturing labor shortages.

“The goal is to make it simple to get an education if you want it. The thing we’re simplifying is the cost,” Xometry co-founder Laurence Zuriff said.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College teamed up with the Greater Green Bay Chamber and global technology company Xometry to get students enrolled in manufacturing programs—no matter what their financial situation looks like.

“We are focused on helping students succeed no matter where they are in their life journey or wherever they are, whatever financial circumstances they might have,” Meredith Jaeger, NWTC Vice President for College Advancement, said.

Through the partnership, around $250,000 in scholarships, plus financial aid, will help people in our area break into the field through education and training.

“That relieved so much tension in me that they were going to give me a grant,” scholarship recipient Salvador Galaviz said. “I felt so grateful for it because I was not expecting it at all.”

The National Association of Manufacturing says there are 13 million employed manufacturers in the United States.

At least four million more positions will need to be filled by 2030.

“A program like this comes in a critical area, helps to bring together common missions for our organizations, and will allow us to make a dent in the talent crisis,” Green Bay Chamber Vice President of Talent and Education Eric Vanden Heuvel said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Wisconsin has the second-highest manufacturing employment concentration in the country, leaving students hopeful for opportunities to come.

“Industrial maintenance is going to be everywhere no matter where you are,” Galaviz said. “Even if I move to another city, if I move to Green Bay, to Oshkosh, to Milwaukee, there is going to be a factory that is going to need industrial maintenance.”

Select students accepting into programs ranging from data analytics to electro-mechanical technology are eligible for the scholarships.

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