Discover Manufacturing awards four student scholarships

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Four West Michigan students recently received scholarships to support their pursuit of careers in engineering.

Discover Manufacturing, a regional network of more than 400 employers addressing the talent needs of West Michigan’s manufacturing industry, presented four area students with $5,000 in scholarships at a reception held Wednesday, May 25, at the West Michigan Works! Northwest Grand Rapids service center, where students networked with West Michigan employers and educational partners.

Award amounts for first-time recipients are based on essay scores and ranged from $1,250 to $1,500. Renewable scholarships of up to $1,000 were available for prior recipients based on the completion of an application and interview with the selection committee.

According to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, manufacturers in Michigan account for 19% of the total output in the state, employing 14% of the workforce.

“Developing a healthy talent pipeline and supporting the education of skilled students is critical to sustaining a strong future for Michigan’s manufacturing industry,” said Jerry Hill, industry council lead, West Michigan Works!. “We’re grateful for the many employers who are willing to invest in the education of students as they enter the exciting and lucrative field of advanced manufacturing.”

Dinesh Ravikumar was awarded $1,500. He is a Forest Hills Northern High School graduate who will attend the University of Michigan and major in mechanical engineering. Ravikumar’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects led him to participate in school activities like Math Counts and Science Olympiad. Outside of school, he enjoys playing the piano and hanging out with friends.

Charlie Hartman was awarded $1,250. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Forest Hills Northern High School who also was awarded Outstanding Male Athlete in 2022. Hartman will attend the University of Michigan and study engineering. During his time at Forest Hills Northern, he was the team captain of his varsity baseball, basketball and football teams. In his spare time, Hartman enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Erich Laird was awarded $1,250. He is a junior at Ferris State University who is majoring in welding engineering. During the upcoming fall semester, Laird plans to complete the quality technology certificate and is considering an additional certificate program in lean manufacturing. When he’s not attending classes, Laird spends time in the fitness center, climbing the rock walls with friends.

Grace Klang was awarded a renewal scholarship of $1,000. She is a sophomore at Western Michigan University who is majoring in aerospace engineering with minors in Japanese and mathematics. Klang is a leader in Robotics and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics clubs. In her spare time, Grace enjoys running, reading classic novels, studying ancient Japanese history and drawing.

More information about Discover Manufacturing is online.

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