TMA Education Foundation invests in local high schools

As the public pays more attention to the deepening skills gap crisis, and manufacturing and technology careers are encouraged by teachers and parents, high schools are seeking financial help to update and upgrade equipment in their applied education departments.

Over the past several weeks, the TMA Education Foundation has delivered three of the nine checks they plan to award in 2018.

John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, IL requested funds for a milling and a lathe machine. TMA Education Foundation Board member Tim Doran of TriState Machinery presented $8,994 to Rich Hyde, the school’s manufacturing and engineering program coordinator.

“With our program numbers growing to almost 200 students, we see a need to offer all of our engineering classes with manufacturing in mind,” Hyde said. With access to updated machinery, Hersey students will be encouraged to participate in future TMA competitions.

The Foundation also awarded $22,000 to Cary-Grove High School in Cary, Illinois. Industrial Technology Department head Michael Manning said what the department had to offer their students has “come a long way” in the past five years.

“At the time, we had one mill collecting dust and a broken lathe in our shop. Since then, with TMA’s support … our program has developed much stronger and more purposefully designed manufacturing program. This year, we are asking for two MSC lathes with DRO’s to match our existing MSC lathe,” Manning said. “This will give us six machines.”

The Foundation also awarded $32,000 to Homewood-Flossmoor High School to update their manufacturing & welding classes to buy a second HAAS Mini Mill, said instructor Bill Merchantz.

The school’s goal is to update their CNC equipment and bring on a full-time manufacturing instructor. Merchantz said Homewood-Flossmoor will be represented at the upcoming TMA Precision Machining Competition.

Thus far in 2018, the TMA Education Foundation has approved six more checks for distribution to local area high schools, totally nearly $150,000.