Thanks to sponsors solicited by Wixom’s 501(c)(3) Community Foundation, five high school students have been granted the opportunity to attend a design and manufacturing academic camp at Ferris State University in Big Rapids this summer.
The experience is intended to acclimate students to manufacturing, tooling, plastics and design technology so they can determine if careers in those fields resonate with them.
Walled Lake Western High School staff assisted a committee recommending students for the camp. The students selected will be seniors in the fall. The experience is a learning tool that could catapult them to attending Ferris’ two- or four-year programs in those areas. Over the long haul, each student could earn an internship in the city, where the need is great for these types of technological jobs.
“We want to see this program grow exponentially,” said Community Foundation Chairman Nick Kennedy. “We have so many employers in our town looking for this skill set and already have four of the kids set up with internships in Wixom.”
The Wixom Community Foundation was established last October to enhance the quality of life and enhance the spirit of the Wixom area through community leadership and stewardship of endowment funds and donations.
Initially David Connell, owner of Adept Plastic Finishing, Inc., ponied up a donation to fund the Wilfred Scholarship Fund that supports the Ferris State University summer camp.
Other companies in the city followed suit, including Chad Zamler with Century Construction; Rick Bacon with United Water, and his wife, Lynn; and Michigan Office Maintenance.
Costs are $500 per student to attend.
“It’s a great opportunity to see what manufacturing and these other disciplines have to offer,” Kennedy said. “Students will return with an understanding of college life and set up their courses to follow that type of curriculum.”
The foundation’s efforts in the community not only benefits the students, but city businesses as well.
“We want to retain our youth and we need a skilled labor force to draw from,” Kennedy said. “The students benefit with a career choice and the opportunity to make good money.”
The Wixom Community Foundation plans to award a pair of $2,500 college scholarships to students attending Ferris State University, one for the fall semester and the other for the spring.
“Wixom is a great community — there are always people wanting to help and get involved,” Kennedy said.