ABOUT US

Started in 2004 by local manufacturing entrepreneur, The Shop Rat Foundation grew from manufacturers' recognition of the increasing need for employees with hands-on skills along with the shortage of relevant programming available for youth to explore these careers. He took action and began opening his shop on Saturday mornings for youth to explore the manufacturing industry and develop career driven skills. In the 15 years since, the Shop Rat Education Program has grown from 15 students to nearly 2,000 youth enrolled in grades 6-12 annually. With its mission to ignite interest in manufacturing and professional trades careers among youth through innovation and outreach, The Shop Rat Education Program is composed of hands-on in-school curriculum, community advocacy activities (such as Manufacturing Day) and extra-curricular classes and camps focused on construction trades, engineering, precision machining and welding.

 

Access for youth and their families to these opportunities is of pinnacle importance to the Shop Rat Foundation. In its commitment to this priority, tuition rates are kept at 50% or less than the actual cost per student, financial assistance is available to those in need. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Shop Rat Foundation’s efforts to make a difference for the communities served and build the workforce of tomorrow.

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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.  

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VALUES

Integrity

Community

Partnership

Respect

Accountability

STAFF MEMBERS

KELLY BURR KOFFLIN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
RACHAEL WINGLE
PROGRAM COORDINATOR
JEFF DRUSHAL
INSTRUCTOR
BRIAN OWEN
INSTRUCTOR
STEVEN RIKER
INSTRUCTOR
 
 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President

Peak Manufacturing

AMANDA HUTCHINGS
BOARD CHAIR

Principal

Willis & Jurasek

THOMAS JURASEK
TREASURER

Director of Strategy

Michigan Public

Health Institute

ERICA BILLS
SECRETARY
MELISSA STROEDE
DIRECTOR

AVP- Treasury Management

County National Bank

CNC Programmer/Operator

CMF(Classic Metal Finishing)

COLTON STEPKE
DIRECTOR
KIM MEDLOCK
DIRECTOR

Communications Manager Information Technology Emergent Holdings, Inc.

Construction

Superintendent

Rockford Construction

TIM EXPOSITO
DIRECTOR

Operations Manager

Caster Concepts

DOUG BACKINGER
DIRECTOR
KYLE LUTTIG
DIRECTOR

Accountant

Willis & Jurasek