Current high school students are encouraged to apply for a new $1,000 manufacturing scholarship to help cover costs in earning a post-secondary certificate or degrees in manufacturing.

Applications are due April 1. To apply or learn more, visit, or contact Judy Richer, Bridges Career Academy coordinator, at 218-760-7838 or

In addition to being a soon-to-graduate student with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, applicants must be enrolling as a full-time student at an accredited Minnesota college or university and be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the counties of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd or Wadena. Most importantly, interested students must be pursuing a degree in a qualifying manufacturing related major.

“Unlike many scholarships, these funds may be used for more than just tuition. It can help cover the costs of books, tools or other educationally related materials, supplies or expenses," Richer said in a news release.

This scholarship fund was established in 2017 by the Lakes Area Manufacturing Alliance, in partnership with the Initiative Foundation, in response to a need identified by the central Minnesota manufacturing business community. Manufacturers are experiencing a growth in the demand for employees with the knowledge and skills to work in a manufacturing environment.

It is LAMA’s goal to actively engage and build collaboration among manufacturing, education and students. LAMA is also a supporter of the HAAS Office Mill, a CNC Machining demonstration tool that offers a hands-on career experience right at an individual high school.

“LAMA sees the establishment of this scholarship program as a true investment in the future of central Minnesota’s manufacturing industry,” said Debby Hoel, human resources manager at Pequot Tool & Manufacturing in Jenkins.

Initial funders of this manufacturing scholarship fund include: Clow Stamping Company, Pequot Tool & Manufacturing, Lindar/Avantech, Graphic Packaging, Precision Tool Technologies, and Lexington Manufacturing.

Businesses are still encouraged to donate to this ongoing scholarship fund. To contribute, send your check payable to the Initiative Foundation with “Manufacturing Scholarship Fund” noted in the memo line to: Initiative Foundation, 405 First St. SE, Little Falls, MN 56345. Or donate online at