Recent Press

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

Explore the New Manufacturing Announces the Outstanding Kanawha Valley Region Award for the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge

Explore the New Manufacturing is pleased to announce the Outstanding Kanawha Valley Region Award for the Explore Manufacturing Innovation Challenge was presented to Putnam County Technical Center (PTCT) for their project with Toyota Motor Manufacturing of WV, Inc. The company challenged the students with a robotics project designed to keep employees safe. 

Next up for the team is the state competition, where they will represent the Kanawha Valley Region to see who will be named the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge 2023 State Champion. PCTC will be competing against three other regional champions. The winner will be announced on May 10th as part of Explore the New Manufacturing's Virtual State Awards Ceremony.

Participating PCTC students: AJ Dunbar, Connor Bush, Brett Winter, Jacob Ingram and faculty advisor, Cheryll Roberts. Students were able to draw support from the Toyota Motor team to help reach their goal. 

Toyota Team: George Gannon, David Newberry, Jacob Plasters, Penny Potocki, and Ben Underwood. 

 “Today’s high school students will be tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce in West Virginia, said Program Director Monica Cross, who oversees the Explore the New Manufacturing Program on behalf of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund’s efforts to create student awareness and excitement about careers in manufacturing and the training opportunities for these positions in their local areas. “We are excited to have Putnam County Technical Center and Toyota Motor Manufacturing team up for this year’s challenge. The real-world experience provides insight into a modern manufacturing environment that uses skills in technology, problem-solving, creativity, and communication that they have been developing in school.” 

Explore's Manufacturing Innovation Challenge is designed to allow high school student teams to solve real-world manufacturing problems faced by West Virginia manufacturers. Each challenge is unique and can come from a variety of aspects of the company's operations.  Students learn how problem-solving skills are a critical element to job performance.  The challenge concludes with a formal team presentation, after which students and manufacturers discuss the feasibility of implementing the solution. The experience illustrates how teamwork, adaptability, and communication skills are used to implement the industry's solutions.

Program Sponsors

Major financial underwriting is provided by

Upcoming Dates

28 May
STATE AWARDS Virtual Ceremony
Date 05.28.2024
5 Jun
Educator Roundtable
23 Jul
WVMA-EF Board Dinner
07.23.2024 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
24 Jul
WVMA-EF Board Retreat
07.24.2024 7:30 am - 8:30 am

Updates from Explore

Contact us and get involved!

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

We are looking for manufacturers, schools, teachers, and community members to
help us expand our efforts throughout West Virginia.

Help us by answering a few questions.