GRAND RAPIDS — A new scholarship in the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University will address the need for advanced manufacturing skills in West Michigan, while making education more accessible for incoming students who are interested in manufacturing careers.

The Autocam Engineering Scholarship, founded by John C. Kennedy, Autocam president and Grand Valley Board of Trustees member, will raise awareness of opportunities in the manufacturing field among high school students. It will help attract students to engineering careers by informing them of the level of technological and problem-solving skills needed in today’s manufacturing environment due to rapidly advancing technology.

Paul Plotkowski, dean of Padnos College, said this scholarship will help attract the best and brightest high school students to Grand Valley, who will contribute to the West Michigan talent pool. The scholarship demonstrates the university’s continuing commitment to innovation and provides opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions, which are stated priorities for higher education in Michigan.

“We don’t have nearly enough talent in the manufacturing areas in West Michigan,” Plotkowski said. “Our students can really capitalize on the opportunity Autocam and John have presented and be able to contribute to manufacturing sectors in the area when they graduate.”

For the 2012-2013 academic year, three eligible Grand Valley students will be selected to receive full-tuition scholarships.

“Autocam is experiencing rapid growth in our advanced automotive fuel system technologies, and with that comes a need for talented and skilled engineers,” Kennedy said. “By investing in students through this scholarship, we are investing not only in the future of the West Michigan community but in Autocam’s future as the premier company for this specialized technology.”

Autocam, based in West Michigan, is a worldwide manufacturer of precision-machine components for the automotive and medical instruments industries. Autocam specializes in high precision components for emerging fuel system technologies, including gasoline- and diesel-injection, alternative fuels, cylinder de-activation, and other technologies critical for mandated fuel economy improvements.


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