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IMA Education Foundation Presents Scholarship Award to Rend Lake College

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) Education Foundation has awarded Rend Lake College $25,000 in scholarship funds for meeting a series of set standards and performing at a high level of active engagement to foster greater educational opportunities within the field of manufacturing. Rend Lake College is one of three institutions across the state receiving a scholarship from the IMA Education Foundation this summer.

The manufacturing technology program at Rend Lake College prepares graduates for supervisory or technical positions in manufacturing. The program’s broad-based curriculum ensures that graduates can obtain employment in a wide variety of manufacturing areas including quality control, production and inventory control, manufacturing processes and computer-aided manufacturing. Manufacturing students at Rend Lake College develop a fundamental knowledge of materials, manufacturing and quality processes, as well as computer, electrical, mechanical and machine control systems related to manufacturing disciplines.


Two dozen RLC and dual credit high school students gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate the $25,000 scholarship donation from the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Representatives from RLC and the IMA were also present including, FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Mike Meinert, RLC Welding Instructor; William Hickey, IMA Board Chair and President of Lapham-Hickey Steel of Chicago; Lori Ragland, RLC VIce President of Career Technical Instruction; Greg Baise,IMA  President and CEO; Andrew Faville, IMA Board Member and CEO of Falex Corporation; Kathleen Zibby-Damron, CEO of the RLC Foundation; Chris Nielsen, RLC Dean of Applied Science; Charles Wingo, RLC Mining Technology Instructor; and Matt Jackson, RLC Industrial Trainer.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

“Rend Lake College is honored to be one of three community colleges to receive this award from the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Education Foundation. It’s a wonderful opportunity that will benefit our students and it’s great to see the industry giving back to those interested in pursuing manufacturing careers,” said Rend Lake College President Terry Wilkerson. “We’re pleased to be recognized for our achievements by the IMA, and we look forward to working with the manufacturing industry to address the skills gap.”

“The skills and certification opportunities being provided through Rend Lake College’s programs provide students a competitive advantage in an industry that has long been the backbone of our economy,” said William Hickey, chairman, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; president, Lapham-Hickey Steel. “As a third generation manufacturer, I cannot stress enough the importance for local employers to be engaged with our community colleges to ensure success for the next generation of skilled workers in our industry.”

“Among the objectives of the IMA Education Foundation is a provision for IMA to provide scholarship opportunities for deserving students following a pathway of study leading to a manufacturing career,” said Andrew Faville, board member, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; CEO, Falex Corporation. “This scholarship award will assist manufacturing students by alleviating some of their financial concerns while focusing on their education and training.”

Community colleges receiving funding must demonstrate active engagement with the manufacturing community by meeting certain set standards demonstrating their commitment to education and training focused on the manufacturing and technology sector.

“The students at Rend Lake have the potential to ensure our state will continue to build a strong pipeline for the workforce and fill the skills gap that is facing our industry,” said Greg Baise, president and CEO, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We hope to continue broadening participation and working with these institutions to increase success across the board for students pursuing opportunities in the manufacturing sector.”

The IMA Education Foundation Board of Directors has endowed its second round of annual scholarships to three schools this summer for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The first round of endowments were made to six institutions last summer for the 2015-2016 school year. The IMA Education Foundation scholarship investments in these programs will help students for years to come.