Recent Press

Press Releases, News & Updates from Explore and all of our education efforts.

Explore is once again holding in-person learning events!

Twenty-one months is a long time to wait, but we are pleased to announce that Explore the New Manufacturing is once again holding in-person learning events.  We are eager for January, when all our programs will be in full swing. So far, over 75 manufacturing partners and 50 schools are signed up to help us make the 2021-2022 school year our biggest year to date!

A few highlights to look forward to:

  • Nominations open on January 10th for the 2022 “Emerging Elite in Manufacturing” and “Outstanding Industry Educator” awards.
  • The What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Student Video Contest is expanding to four regions.  Mark your calendars now so you can vote from March 28th through April 24th for the Viewer’s Choice award-winner in your region.
  • The new Statewide Virtual Awards Presentation happens May 4th.  Watch for more details later this spring.

To all our manufacturing and education partners, thank you for your dedication and interest.  The volunteer hours you provide make a huge impact on efforts to help students discover the fun and exciting manufacturing careers available across the Mountain State.  For the foundations and corporate sponsors who provide the essential financial underwriting, thank you for believing in our vision and for your generous support.  And to the students, we are continually amazed by your innovation and talent. We look forward to working with all of you in 2022!

Happy Holidays from Explore the New Manufacturing Program!

Middle schoolers participate in manufacturing workshop at RCBI

HUNTINGTON — Local middle school students got a look into the world of manufacturing Friday morning at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in Huntington.

Students from Barboursville, Milton, Huntington and Huntington East middle schools participated in a hands-on learning event sponsored by the Explore the New Manufacturing Program and regional manufacturers.

Explore Academy Gets Middle School Students Excited About Manufacturing Careers

Explore the New Manufacturing Academy hosted a group of middle school students and area manufacturers to investigate some of the diverse and fantastic career opportunities that help West Virginia manufacturers deliver their products to the world.

Four local middle schools participated in a series of 30-minute hands-on learning labs designed to provide a cool snapshot of the manufacturing process needed to create West Virginia-made products. Manufacturers provided insight into how employees make a difference in the success of the company. As part of the lab, students learned about the basic skills most workers need to accomplish their jobs. Local community and technical students were on hand to serve as mentors and to assist the with learning labs. RCBI provided all students with a tour of their facility to help highlight available training and educational options. The day wrapped up with a 20-minute team challenge exercise designed to help students understand the value of collaboration and communication.

WV Roundtable: Are you concerned about your future workforce and their ability to solve issues?

Explore the New Manufacturing is putting this question to the test with the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge. Partnering with West Virginia businesses, Manufacturing Innovation Challenge projects give high school teams the opportunity to find solutions to a real-world manufacturing problem. Teams tackle existing product problems and develop the application of concept ideas. Each challenge is unique and can come from various aspects of the company's operations. All projects are aligned with West Virginia Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) standards, curriculum, project-based learning efforts, and career exploration programs.

Annual Report 2020-2021

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation Grant Supports Explore the New Manufacturing Program Expansion

Charleston, WV, August 9, 2021 – The West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund Inc. (WVMAEF) announced today the awarding of a $22,000 grant from The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) to support the continuation and expansion of its Explore the New Manufacturing programming within Kanawha, Putnam, Boone, Clay, Lincoln and Fayette counties. The purpose of this initiative is to increase interest in manufacturing careers among middle and high school students in West Virginia.

“TGKVF is excited to partner with the WVMA Educational Fund in support of the Explore the New Manufacturing program in our region. The Foundation is committed to building the skills of students to become productive and successful. Through programs like Explore the New Manufacturing, middle and high school youth will receive the education and guidance that prepares them for careers in promising economic sectors,” stated Dr. Michelle Foster, TGKVF President and CEO.

Wood County Technical Center / Caperton Center for Applied Technologies Students Take on a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge

Parkersburg, WV, June 9, 2021 – Explore the New Manufacturing has announced the completion of a Manufacturing Innovation Challenge, which teamed six students from the Wood County Technical Center /Caperton Center for Applied Technologies and DuPont. The challenge required the students to develop an app that would increase employee efficiency by providing access to information related to the facility, products and their job roles. Mr. Jared Voldness, Pre-Engineering & Computer Science Instructor, served as the advisor to the student team for this effort.

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Grant Supports Explore the New Manufacturing in West Virginia

Charleston, WV, June 8, 2021 – The West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund Inc. (WVMAEF) announced today the awarding of a $187,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to support the continuation and expansion of its Explore the New Manufacturing programming. The purpose of this initiative is to increase interest in manufacturing careers among middle and high school students in West Virginia.

Students and educators recognized on West Virginia Manufacturing Education Day

CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Monday is West Virginia Manufacturing Education Day, announced the Explore the New Manufacturing Program and the West Virginia Department of Education.

The proclamation is meant to celebrate and recognize students and educators across the state for their commitment to the next generation of workers in the manufacturing industry. The West Virginia Department of Education, the Explore the New Manufacturing Program, state manufacturers, and educators are working to strengthen manufacturing education programs to narrow the skills gap and guide West Virginia children into long-term careers in the manufacturing industry.

Cline receives 2021 Outstanding Industry Educator Award

The Explore the New Manufacturing Program announced this week that Brandon Cline has been recognized with an Outstanding Industry Educator Award in the high school division for his dedication in the classroom.

Program Sponsors

Major financial underwriting is provided by

Stay informed on activities and programs that are helping to introduce West Virginia students to rewarding career opportunities.

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Upcoming Dates

27 Sep
WVMAEF Board Meeting
Date 09.27.2022 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Updates from Explore

Contact us and get involved!

Interested in getting involved with the Explore the New Manufacturing Program?

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help us expand our efforts throughout West Virginia.

Help us by answering a few questions.