Recent Press

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

The WVMA Educational Fund, Inc. Releases 2021-2022 Annual Report

The West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund, Inc. is pleased to announce its publication of the Explore the New Manufacturing Annual Report 2021-2022. “The WVMAEF finished another exceptional year of raising awareness of manufacturing careers to West Virginia students, parents, and educators,” stated Bob Fehrenbacher, Board Chair for the organization. “Collaboration between educators, manufacturers, and staff ensured that insights developed into opportunities and preparations for rewarding futures. We thank the generous support of all involved, including grantors and sponsors.”

In collaboration with our dedicated industry, academic partners, and friends, the WVMAEF made substantial strides this year in meeting objectives along the Manufacturing Workforce Continuum with our program, Explore the New Manufacturing. The program's outreach efforts impacted more than 2,300 middle school students through academies, workshops, and student video contests, while a record 96 high school students participated in the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge and SCRAP Wild & Wonderful Contest.

Bruce Hamrick, Integrated Production Technology (AC) Instructor, Carver Career & Technical Education Center, described his experience working with Explore the New Manufacturing. “Working with Explore's Manufacturing Innovation Challenge has been one of the greatest experiences in my classroom. This is project-based learning at its best. The students have really increased their technical skills by creating a solution for a real-world problem. An important benefit has been the development of the students’ soft skills (teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication). These skills cannot be easily taught, but they’re as important as technical skills and academics to be successful in post-high school career choices.”

“We are grateful for the continued support of our partners who, despite pandemic-related restrictions, staffing shortages, and supply chain issues, stepped up to ensure we delivered high-level engagement and outreach. The WVMAEF looks forward to making even greater strides this coming year,” said Program Director Monica Cross, who oversees the Explore the New Manufacturing Program on behalf of the WVMAEF’s efforts to create student awareness and excitement about careers in manufacturing and the training opportunities for these positions in their local areas.

Visit the Explore the New Manufacturing website here to read the full report and discover how you can become involved.

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