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AEM Awards $50,000 in Grants to Nonprofit Organizations

MILWAUKEE, WI — Five nonprofit organizations developing the future of the manufacturing and trades workforces were awarded $10,000 each at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) 2019 Annual Conference as part of their Next Gen Grant Program. The winning organizations — from Missouri, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Kansas — focused on training for and encouraging careers in construction, manufacturing, technician service and business and financial skills development.

“We knew there were a lot of organizations encouraging and preparing youth for careers in manufacturing and the trades,” said AEM Workforce Development Director Julie Davis. “All the same, we were still surprised by the degree of diversity and innovation in these programs, and how they are tackling genuinely challenging workforce development issues in their communities.”

This grant, in part to celebrate AEM’s 125th Anniversary, was available to qualifying organizations. In order to have been considered for the AEM Next Gen Grant, organizations must have been a registered 501(c)(3) organization engaged in outreach toward a K-12 audience, engaged with an educational organization (e.g. school district, tech school, college, etc.) and nominated by someone from an AEM member company.

The winners for 2019 in the Construction Digest area is:

The Construction Forum in St. Louis, Missouri: The Construction Forum was nominated by Darryl Matthews of Sunnyvale, California-based technology company Trimble, Inc. The Construction Forum focuses on workforce, inclusion/diversity, regionalism and collaboration in their effort to understand the barriers facing youth entering the workforce, and ending the cycle of poverty in St. Louis, by encouraging careers in regional construction.

National Association of Ag Educators in Lexington, Kentucky: The National Association of Ag Educators’ Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) was nominated by Mark Core of Pella, Iowa-based agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturer Vermeer Corporation. CASE gets secondary and post-secondary students to work together with industry to increase enrollment in technician degree programs at two-year institutions. CASE has also developed a course teaching 10th through 12th graders focusing on technical skills that agricultural service technicians will need in a mechanics career.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers aims to bring the equipment manufacturing industry together to develop and share best practices and tools to help recruit the workforce of tomorrow. AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.
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