Herndon, Va.; August 30, 2023 – The PMMI Foundation, the charitable arm of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is pleased to announce the culmination of a successful year of empowering young minds through its partnership with Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs® (NBT), the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l (FMA). In 2023, through a $50,000 grant to NBT, the PMMI Foundation supported 27 of the 224 NBT summer manufacturing camps conducted throughout the year, benefiting 510 students.
Designed for middle and high school students ages 11 to 17, these camps have consistently proven their effectiveness in fostering a deep and lasting interest in the realm of manufacturing. They have evolved into invaluable platforms for students to unearth their potential, explore innovative technology, and create tangible take-home products, all while gaining valuable insights into the inner workings of the manufacturing industry. These engaging and educational experiences have a promising potential to significantly shape and influence the trajectory of their future career paths.
“These camps provide an opportunity to introduce students to the world of packaging,” says Stephan Girard, senior director, of workforce development at PMMI and a member of the NBT board of directors. “Through guided tours of manufacturing plants and hands-on experiences with cutting-edge technology, these students not only learn but truly immerse themselves in the essence of innovation and industry.”
What sets these camps apart is the comprehensive approach and immersive experience they provide. Students not only learn about manufacturing theory but also dive into practical applications by creating and building their very own products. These experiences extend beyond the workshop as students have the unique opportunity to tour manufacturing facilities, engage with industry experts, and learn about entrepreneurship. This is a holistic approach to ensure students receive a well-rounded introduction to the world of manufacturing and the high-tech career choices available to them in today’s advanced industry.
Among the 27 camps supported by the PMMI Foundation this year, a few notable examples include:
- Maker Camps 1 & 2 at The Children's Museum Inc., Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania: These camps empowered young minds to unleash their creativity by engaging in hands-on manufacturing activities. Students had the chance to conceptualize, design, and create their own projects, fostering innovation and problem-solving skills.
- Thingamajig Tinker-Belles Camp at Pennsylvania College of Technology: This camp provided young women a platform to explore manufacturing and engineering. Through workshops and mentorship, students were encouraged to break down gender barriers and excel in fields traditionally under-represented by women.
- Robotics and Engineering Camp at State College of Florida: This camp delved into the exciting world of robotics and engineering, giving students a hands-on experience in designing and building their own robots — emphasizing the intersection of technology and manufacturing, and preparing students for the future of the industry.
The PMMI Foundation remains committed to its mission of nurturing the future workforce within the packaging and processing industry. As of 2023, the PMMI Foundation has contributed $3.8 million, actively fostering educational programs across the United States and Canada. These initiatives are aimed at equipping the next generation of industry leaders with the essential skills and knowledge to become the trailblazers of tomorrow.