Bluffton, Indiana (Tuesday, December 21, 2021/Don Wood Foundation) –The Area 18 Cooperatives was awarded more than $1 million in funding to purchase advanced manufacturing equipment for five area high schools, thanks to the generosity of the Don Wood Foundation.
The help of the Don Wood Foundation grant will enhance educational learning experiences for the students of Adams Central, South Adams, North Adams, Bluffton-Harrison, and Blackford County School Corporations. This funding will support equipment upgrades to ensure that Area 18 students have the skills needed for success in today’s competitive workforce.
“We are pleased to be able to support Area 18 and the Advanced Manufacturing programing,” said Laura Macknick, Executive Director of the Don Wood Foundation. “We applaud their pursuit of industry partnerships and training of the next generation. The future of manufacturing will be enhanced by Area 18’s work, which strategically aligns with our foundation’s mission.”
Kloer recognizes the importance of collaboration between CTE teachers and local industry partners as an important practice to highlight the marketability, viability, and career opportunities provided by advanced manufacturing in our communities. “Area 18 CTE Cooperative’s partnership with the Don Wood Foundation will allow our students the opportunity to gain the training necessary to fill many of today’s jobs high-skill, high-wage, or high demand occupations in the North East Economic Region.
80/20 Founder and former CEO, Don Wood, started his career at a very young age selling seeds door to door. Being a true entrepreneur his entire life, Don gained wisdom and real-life experiences from a variety of roles, including machinist, salesman, board member, and business owner. Don was a “toolmaker by trade…salesman by attitude.” His vision, along with sons Doug and John, for what is now known as “The Industrial Erector Set,” began in a 3,000 square foot building in 1989 and has expanded to a campus of over 255,000 square feet. Ultimately, Don’s legacy lives on with the work of the Don Wood Foundation Trust, which will help to grow and transform the manufacturing sector in NE Indiana by supporting industrial technology areas along with sales, entrepreneurism, and leadership.