Don Wood Foundation Gifts Over $950,000 to support Career and Tech Ed

Bluffton, Indiana (Tuesday, May 30, 2023/Don Wood Foundation) –The Area 18 Cooperatives was awarded more than $950,000 in funding to support Phase 2 of Career and Technical Education laboratory upgrades for four area school corporations, thanks to the generosity of the Don Wood Foundation.  This is in addition to the $1,012,812.78 donation made by the foundation in 2021.

The help of the Don Wood Foundation grant will enhance educational learning experiences for the students of Bluffton-Harrison MSD, Northern Wells Community Schools, Jay School Corporation, and Southern Wells Community Schools.  This funding will support equipment upgrades to ensure that Area 18 students have the skills needed for success in today’s competitive workforce.

“We are pleased to be able to support Area 18 and the advancement of their programming,” said Laura Macknick, Executive Director of the Don Wood Foundation.  “We applaud their pursuit of industry partnerships and training of the next generation. The future of manufacturing will be enhanced by Area 18’s work, which strategically aligns with our foundation’s mission.” 

Kloer recognizes the importance of collaboration between CTE teachers and local industry partners as an important practice to highlight the marketability, viability, and career opportunities provided by advanced manufacturing in our communities.  “Area 18 CTE Cooperative’s partnership with the Don Wood Foundation will allow our students the opportunity to gain the training necessary to fill many of today's jobs high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand occupations in the North East Economic Region”.

80/20 Founder and former CEO Don Wood started his career at a very young age selling seeds door to door.  Being a true entrepreneur his entire life, Don gained wisdom and real-life experiences from a variety of roles, including machinist, salesman, board member, and business owner.  Don was a “toolmaker by trade…salesman by attitude.” His vision, along with sons Doug and John, for what is now known as “The Industrial Erector Set” began in a 3,000-square-foot building in 1989 and has expanded to a campus of over 255,000 square feet.  Ultimately, Don’s legacy lives on with the work of the Don Wood Foundation Trust, which will help to grow and transform the manufacturing sector in NE Indiana by supporting industrial technology areas along with sales, entrepreneurism, and leadership.

Jay School Corporation: $35,000.00

Southern Wells Community Schools: $235,000.00

Northern Wells Community Schools: $480,000.00

Bluffton-Harrison MSD: $200,000.00

Total Support for Phase 2: $950,000.00

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