KCC, INNOVATE Albion expand youth programming through $100,000 Consumers Energy Foundation grant

KCC, INNOVATE Albion expand youth programming through $100,000 Consumers Energy Foundation grant

Kellogg Community College will be expanding and increasing access to STEM experiences for youth this year thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The grant, awarded to the Kellogg Community College and regional partner INNOVATE Albion for the “Bruins Innovation: A Skills & STEM Youth Outreach Project,” was officially announced during an open house at INNOVATE Albion’s teaching and training center May 21.

“STEM education is critical to power our state’s future, sparking students’ interest in fields that will transform our economy,” Consumers Energy Foundation President Brandon Hofmeister said. “We are excited to work with KCC and INNOVATE Albion to provide new opportunities for STEM learning here in the communities we serve.”

Grant funding is providing support for youth programming over the course of the 2022-23 academic year designed to increase interest in STEM and skilled trades education and careers in Michigan, specifically:

  • The creation and administration of free youth STEM camps at KCC’s Eastern Academic Center campus in Albion
  • Scholarships for students to attended existing STEM-related youth camps offered as part of KCC’s Bruin Youth Programming initiative this summer
  • Support for educational programming offered via KCC’s new Bruin Industrial Trades Mobile Trainer
  • Support for youth camps and classes offered at INNOVATE Albion, and associated scholarships

Of special interest to the project is to intentionally reach out to socioeconomically at-risk youth to inspire and engage them in STEM and the skilled trades.

“This Consumers Energy Foundation grant is helping us support the type of early engagement with hands-on STEM programming that will have a lasting impact as we begin filling the talent pipeline by encouraging K-12 interest in these opportunities,” Interim KCC President Dr. Paul Watson II said. “This investment will plant seeds for the growth of the future electricians, engineers, machinists, technicians and welders needed to build a healthy and competitive STEM industry in Michigan in the years to come.”

For more information about youth programming and youth scholarship opportunities at KCC, visit kellogg.edu/youth or call 269-965-4134. For more information about INNOVATE Albion’s summer STEM camps and scholarships, visit innovatealbion.org or email churteau@casterconcepts.com.

Pictured in the attached photo, from left to right, are Scott Cubberly, Business and Industry Liaison, Kellogg Community College; Caroline Hurteau, Executive Director, INNOVATE Albion; Elmer Lee, Board Member, INNOVATE Albion, and Chief Exploration Officer, Conceptual Innovations; Carolyn Bloodworth, Secretary and Treasurer, Consumers Energy Foundation; Greg Moore, Community Affairs Manager, Consumers Energy; and Dr. Paul R. Watson II, Interim President, KCC. Photo courtesy of BrickStreet Marketing.

About Kellogg Community College

Kellogg Community College’s mission is to provide accessible, high-quality education to enrich our community and the lives of individual learners. The College, founded in 1956, serves approximately 6,900 students annually via five campuses, customized training and online coursework. KCC offers 60 pre-professional transfer curricula; 37 associate degree programs; 25 certificate programs; seven categories of professional certifications; and a variety of short-term, noncredit courses.

About INNOVATE Albion

INNOVATE Albion is a teaching and training center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and robotics in Southwest Michigan. As a nonprofit organization, founded in collaboration with Caster Concepts, Inc. and Conceptual Innovations, we bring together students, educators and professionals to build the next generation of skilled talent in our region.

The idea for INNOVATE Albion began as Caster Concepts and Conceptual Innovations took a creative approach to recruit and retain skilled talent for their engineering team. The skilled talent required in the manufacturing field does not often seek out Southwest Michigan as a place to build their life. However, our area schools are filled with students eager to put their learning into action and begin working. INNOVATE Albion believes that through mentorship, hands-on learning, and internship opportunities we can build a sustainable pipeline of skilled talent for manufacturing facilities throughout the region.

About the Consumers Energy Foundation

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2021, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed more than $17.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit consumersenergy.com/foundation.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at https://daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.