NFPA’s Fast Track/FAMTEN program recently added a second technical school hub community site at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois. The hub’s fluid power career pathway includes three high schools where NFPA brought in fluid power training equipment and a Fluid Power Action Challenge event for middle schoolers in which 140 students participated.
NFPA’s first technical school hub is Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC), located in suburban Milwaukee. The hub has seven high schools and a Fluid Power Action Challenge event that usually has at least 220 student participants. Both Triton and WCTC have fluid power and mechatronics degree programs.
NFPA’s Fast Track/FAMTEN programs at Triton and WCTC seek to encourage students to follow an education pathway that results in a degree and a job at a local NFPA-member company.
NFPA’s Pascal donors are an important part of this pathway. Named after Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician, physicist, and inventor whose famous law describes fluid power’s force multiplier effect, the Pascal Society is the annual giving society of the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation, which is dedicated to meeting the workforce development needs of the U.S. fluid power industry.
Pascal donors are involved along every step, from coaching and judging teams in the middle school Action Challenge to mentoring high school students in using the fluid power training equipment. Others serve on the Triton and WCTC advisory boards and provide internships to their students.
“If we want to attract more of the best and brightest minds to the fluid power industry, we need to build awareness with students at an early age,” said Bill Haley, a business development analyst at FORCE America who participated in the program. “I’ve been able to tie what they’ve learned to practical applications like factory automation or an excavator. I’m confident that students in FAMTEN schools will be much more likely to consider careers in fluid power.”
NFPA thanked companies that have supported the program, including Deltrol Fluid Products, FORCE America, Festo, Husco, IMI Precision Engineering, Poclain, Price Engineering, QCC, and SunSource.
For more information on the Fast Track/FAMTEN program, contact Lynn Beyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.