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Financial Consulting. Let Us Do the Math.

CONNECTING TODAY'S YOUTH
TO TOMORROWS CAREERS

Igniting interest in manufacturing careers among youth

through innovation and outreach.

Started in 2004 by a Jackson-based manufacturing entrepreneur, The Shop Rat Foundation grew from his acute awareness of the need for skilled talent and opportunities for youth to explore these careers. 

 

Never one to sit and wait for someone else to find a solution, he took action and began opening his manufacturing facility to area youth to explore manufacturing and develop career-driven skills. In the 16 years since, the Shop Rat Education Program has grown from 15 students to over 2,000 youth served through the programs annually.

 

The Shop Rat Education Program encompasses hands-on in-school curriculum, community activities (such as Manufacturing Day) and extra-curricular classes and camps.

 

A key priority for the Shop Rat Foundation is accessibility for all. In its commitment to this priority, the organization is constantly working toward this by addressing cultural, financial and geographic barriers that students and families may be facing. 

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MISSION

Igniting interest in manufacturing careers among youth through innovation and outreach.

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VISION

Become the premier hands on skills curriculum partner to 6-12 educational institutions, community groups and affiliated industry associations throughout North America. 

VALUES

Integrity

Community

Partnership

Respect

Accountability

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Curriculum utilized within the Shop Rat Education Program focuses on: 

  • Building Trades

  • Computer Science

  • Engineering

  • Precision Machining

  • Robotics

  • Welding

It has been designed to align with local industry needs, as well as CTE (career and technical education) standards.

The Shop Rat Education Program encompasses in-school and extra-curricular offerings, providing youth enrolled in grades 3-10 an opportunity to explore and prepare for future careers within the manufacturing and professional trades sectors.

Does it work? See where our student Alumni are now!

Shop Rat 
Education

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CONSTRUCTION
TRADES

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COMPUTER SCIENCE

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ENGINEERING

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PRECISION MACHINING

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WELDING

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ROBOTICS

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Community

Outreach

The Shop Rat Foundation believes strongly in the value of collaboration; prioritizing partnership with educational and community groups.

The Shop Rat Foundation has been generously funded by the Dream Makers Fund at the Jackson Community Foundation to facilitate the Dream Makers Robotics Program to Jackson area schools. This is a hands-on, 8 week program facilitated within the school day; to provide accessible robotics for all students. The program is available at no cost to the schools, serving grades 3-8. It is designed to align with FIRST Lego League, FIRST Technical Challenge and FIRST Robotics at the high school level. Currently, this program is serving 9 area school districts with expansion to all interested community districts planned.

 

The Shop Rat Foundation also serves as a curriculum and instructional resource to Jackson Preparatory and Early College, Northwest Connect and Western Career Prep and area homeschool organizations to provide manufacturing focused programming to students.

Virtual

Programming

Correlating with our mission of innovation and outreach, the Shop Rat Foundation has developed a career exploration focused mobile application, On the Job 360, allowing students to explore manufacturing careers virtually.

 

Additionally, the Shop Rat Foundation is launching virtual programming with the opportunity for curriculum sales and franchising for those outside of the immediate service area.

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Staff

Kelly Kofflin Executive Director
Rachael Wingle Director of Extra Curricular Programs 
Lara Pearse Conley Director of Community Programs
Brian Owen Lead Instructor of Manufacturing Technology
and Engineering

Andrew Wadsworth Lead Instructor, Dream Makers Robotics
Jeff Drushal Instructor, Welding
Brian Terry Instructor, Computer Science
Thomas Miller Instructional Assistant

Board of
Directors

Amanda Hutchings Board Chair, President, Peak Manufacturing
Tom Jurasek Treasurer, CEO, Bearex
Erica Walker Secretary, Project Manager, MDHHS
Tim Exposito Director, Sr. Project Coordinator, Consumers Energy
Brandon Marken Director, Founder/CEO Lean Rocket Lab
Colton Stepke Director, Machinist, CMF

Leland Falde Director, Senior Software Developer,
Miller Electric Mfg Inc

Alex Masten Director, VP of Economic Development,
The Enterprise Group of Jackson, Inc.

Kim Castle Director, Manager, Corporate Communications,
Emergent Holdings, Inc. 

Donors &
Sponsors

Allied Chucker
C. Thorrez Industries
Diversified Precision Products
Great Lakes Industries
Mid-America Sales
MACI
Peak Manufacturing
Diversified Engineering Plastics
Kofflin Family

Justin Gibbs

Wire Wizard

CMF

Technique Inc

Gerdau 

County National Bank

Michigan Extruded Aluminum


 
Orbitform

Morlock Custom Logging

Lomar

Gun Vault

Agile Growth Shop

Keough Family Foundation
MIS Cares

Camiel & Ann Marie Thorrez

Bill & Vi Sigmund Foundation

S.H. Camp Foundation

Jackson Community Foundation

Comerica Charitable Foundation

JCF Dream Makers Fund

Community Partners

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Whats New?

Contact

133 W. Michigan Ave. Suite A,  Jackson, MI 49201

517-769-2100

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