Grant Support Sparks Manufacturing Talent Pipeline from Area FFA Chapters

Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) joined alongside Rogers County FFA Chapters to celebrate National FFA Week, and the impact the organization has locally by launching the Empowering the Innovators grant. Funds from this grant will be used to support agriculture mechanics and shop courses supply, curriculum and material needs to bolster student skill-building.

“We know that supporting innovation within the classroom is vital to encourage increased levels of critical thinking, driving productivity throughout the student learning process. CIEDA is proud to support Rogers County schools and the quality programs that influence our future talent pipelines, align with industry needs, and fill skills gaps,” shared Meggie Froman-Knight, CIEDA Talent Development Manager.

The Empowering the Innovators grant supplied $2,500 to area Rogers County FFA Chapters, and will impact over 150 Rogers County students each year who are enrolled in agriculture mechanics, metal fabrication and construction, shop, or power and tech courses. These students are the direct pipeline that fills local, quality manufacturing and industrial jobs.

Oologah FFA recently designed and fabricated a door jamming system that could be used in the classroom in case of an intruder alert situation. Instructor Kadie Smith shared, “we are in the process of trying to supply the whole school district with these types of door mechanisms.  The Empowering the Innovators funds will help purchase additional metal materials for the project.”

Area chapters were required to apply for the funds. Those awarded include Claremore, Chelsea, Foyil, Oologah, and Sequoyah. The grant will supply a variety of items to the schools including basic safety supplies like goggles and welding hoods, metal materials, and collaborative support toward equipment purchases.

Claremore FFA recently prioritized an upgrade to its metal fabrication and construction class to stay relevant within fields that are constantly molded by technological and equipment advancements. “In addition to providing students with the most modern and technologically advanced welding equipment available, it is my expectation to provide the same rigorous individual safety standards required in manufacturing facilities. The Empowering the Innovators grant provided by CIEDA will aid in providing proper personal protective gear for our students,” said Agricultural Education Instructor, Matt Boyer.

Overall the applicant requests were minor items that had a major impact on things like safety, both of students and others. CIEDA is proud to support better learning environments for tomorrow’s employees.

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