Get Involved and Recruit Students out of NFPA’s Illinois Fast Track Hub

One of NFPA’s strategic priorities is to increase the number of fluid power educated technicians and engineers. Our Fast Track to Fluid Power program is one of the workforce development initiatives conducted to fill that need. A Fast Track Hub centers on a technical or community college with a validated fluid power and mechatronics degree program. The program aims to foster a productive partnership between technical colleges, NFPA’s industry partners, and students and faculty in local middle schools and high schools.

Members are invited to participate in the following ongoing opportunities and future events unique to the Illinois region. Each can help increase your company’s visibility with students and educators surrounding Triton Community College, NFPA’s Illinois Fast Track HUB, and build awareness for the fluid power industry.

  • Ongoing Opportunities:
      • Participate in NFPA’s Speaker’s Bureau at Illinois Partner Schools
        • Speaker’s Bureau is an opportunity to inspire and excite students about career opportunities in the fluid power industry
        • Ridgewood High School – best days Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays
        • Proviso West High School – flexible
        • NFPA can connect you with the schools
      • Visit Triton College’s Engineering Technology Classes & Meet with Students
        • Increase your hiring reach and connect with Triton’s educators and students, especially students in the Mechatronics and Mechanical Design courses
        • Meet with educators, speak with the students, and tour the labs
        • Timing: January (late), February, April, and May (9AM-1PM and 5PM-8PM (CT))
        • NFPA can connect you with Triton’s Engineering Technology educators
      • Illinois Workforce Engagement Group Meeting & Member/H.S. Student Event
        • Ridgewood Community High School 7500 W. Montrose Ave., Norridge, IL 60706
        • January 10th meeting (9:30 – 10:30AM CT) + Table-Top member / student connection event (10:50-11:25AM CT)
        • Register here
        • Table-top (6ft tables) event: help students learn about your company in a fun and casual way. Demonstrate your products and services; let them engage in hands-on learning; and tell them about your company
        • Students also respond to candy, treats, and swag, per Ridgewood staff!
      • January 17 Ridgewood High School Fluid Power Action Challenge – Workshop Day
        •  Ridgewood High School (Norridge, IL) is hosting the event
        • Fluid Power Action Challenge is a hands-on, team-based machine build challenge that introduces middle schoolers (8th graders) to fluid power, the industry, and companies through volunteer participation
        • Workshop Day introduces the event, industry, and competition to teams from J. Giles (9:30am CT) and Union Ridge (10:30am CT) middle schools
        • Help teams connect STEM classroom learning to the hands-on event by helping students think through engineering problems
        • Contact James Foster by January 10, 2024, to volunteer

Contact James Foster ( to volunteer or learn more about these opportunities and events. Similar activities are taking place in the other Fast Track Hub regions. Click here to join a Workforce Engagement Group and stay informed of the latest opportunities to recruit and engage with emerging talent in the regions.

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