The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation is a tax-exempt, charitable organization, that is dedicated to meeting the fluid power industry’s workforce development need. Together, with the corporate leaders serving on our Board of Directors, we have long recognized the value that a diverse workforce brings in terms of increased productivity, creativity, and access to new business opportunities. We have also recognized that there is a vast and largely untapped pool of additional talent that could be developed. In bringing these two ideas together, we have launched an initiative in our workforce development efforts.
Fluid Power Connects is an initiative designed to connect underrepresented populations to educational opportunities and rewarding career pathways in the fluid power industry. Through Fluid Power Connects, we have begun working with our educational partners to widen the gender and racial diversity of the students being drawn into our programs. Currently, that means reaching out to middle and high schools in underserved areas and trying to connect them to our existing Fast Track Hubs. And it means working with multi-cultural and women-based engineering student organizations on the campuses of our Power Partner universities to help expose their members to the fluid power education and job opportunities that we can offer. Simultaneously, we are working to engage community organizations and extend our programmatic and funding opportunities to align our interests in bringing hands-on fluid power related activities to the diverse student populations they serve.
The NFPA Foundation and its many donors support a series of outreach and education programs designed to increase the number of technical college and university students educated in fluid power and to connect them to careers in the fluid power industry. Through the lens of these successful programs, it is easy to see our overarching national strategy of building community-based education pathways. What is not so easy to see – at least not yet – is the dramatic impact we expect to have on attracting people of diverse backgrounds into these pathways.
In addition to leveraging our existing programs and funding opportunities, we are listening first, seeking to better understand the barriers that exist in terms of education and recruitment into the fluid power industry, and beginning to take more proactive steps to reduce them. We encourage students, instructors, community organizations, and NFPA members and stakeholders to contact us to start a dialogue about pursuing these efforts in your community.
Contact Stephanie at email@example.com to learn more or get involved.
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