$1,000 scholarships available for engineering, robotics, welding, machine tool technology

Lakes Area Manufacturers Alliance Scholarships are good for more than just tuition

Photo from Lakes Area Manufacturers Alliance

Graduating high school students in central Minnesota who plan to attend postsecondary education can apply for a $1,000 scholarship to help cover costs for tuition, books, school supplies or other educationally related materials while seeking a certificate or degree in a manufacturing related field.

Application deadline is March 31. More information is available at with an application available at

In addition to being a soon-to-graduate student with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, applicants must be enrolling as a full-time student at an accredited college or university and be a U.S. citizen, and a current resident of the counties of Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd or Wadena.

Most important, interested students must be pursuing a degree in a qualifying manufacturing related major.

Studies in engineering, robotics, welding, mechatronics and machine tool technology are examples of career fields that qualify. A more in-depth listing is available on the application site.


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

This scholarship fund was established in 2017 by the Lakes Area Manufacturers Alliance, in partnership with the Initiative Foundation, in response to the increased demand manufacturers are experiencing for employees with the knowledge and skills to work in a manufacturing environment.

There are numerous high-tech jobs in manufacturing where creativity, problem-solving and collaboration are instrumental. It is LAMA’s goal to actively engage and build collaboration among manufacturing, education and students.

LAMA works closely with the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the Bridges Workplace connection, which is a workforce development initiative under the chamber that connects high school students with the business community through activities such as Career Exploration Day, a youth jobs portal Career Depot, Speakers in the Classroom and a virtual career exploration experience, Game of  Careers.

Funders of the Manufacturing Scholarship Fund include: ATEK Access Technologies, Brunswick Boat Works, Clow Stamping Company, Hunt Utilities Group, Pequot Manufacturing, LINDAR, Avantech, Tri-Ven, Graphic Packaging, Lexington Manufacturing and Lonesome Cottage Furniture.

Businesses are encouraged to donate to this ongoing scholarship fund.

Contributions may be sent by 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 Bridges Manufacturing Workforce Development Fund | GiveMN.

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