Aerospace foundation awards STEM grant to Muskegon students

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Morgan Carroll. Courtesy Morgan Carroll

The charitable arm of Howmet Aerospace provided a $200,000 grant to promote STEM education.

The Howmet Aerospace Foundation partnered with Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) and Muskegon educators to provide the grant, which will be used to create the Howmet Center for Sustainable Science and Technology.

Programming provided by the Howmet Center will allow Muskegon Community College and Muskegon Area Intermediate School District students the opportunity to learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through food processing and food science. 

Programs will include in-class lectures and lab coursework at the new Food, Agriculture, Research, Manufacturing (FARM) food processing business accelerator at Muskegon Community College, at 221 Quarterline Road in Muskegon. 

The FARM center is owned by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and managed by Michigan State University. The program’s offerings will integrate with the MSU/MCC food processing degree and certificate programs. K-12 programs also will be held at several West Michigan schools beginning this spring and fall 2022.

“Our region’s businesses, especially our manufacturers, continue to struggle to find workers with STEM-related skills, and graduating students who have been exposed to STEM is the way to address this issue long term,” said Morgan Carroll, director of business development, GMED. “We need to be creative about how we engage students with STEM, so they understand that these jobs not only pay well, they are interesting and rewarding, as well.”

Amy Heisser, director of human resources for Howmet Aerospace, said this is the latest example of how the company has been supporting community partnerships for more than seven decades. 

“This grant continues our long tradition of supporting the community while also investing in the next generation of skilled workers,” Heisser said. “As a company that relies on the technical expertise of employees, Howmet Aerospace understands the importance of providing students access to STEM education opportunities.”

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