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DeArmond Foundation awards $300k to Oregon Tech to fund OMIC interns from Oregon high schools, and increase student scholarships


Klamath Falls, OR – The Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) today announced that the Robert J. and Leona DeArmond Public Foundation has awarded $300,000 to the university in support of nurturing outstanding engineering and technology professionals in Oregon. Out of the total, $200,000 will provide five students from Oregon high schools with fully-paid tuition and fees for 4 years at Oregon Tech, in addition to providing internships at the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center Research & Development (OMIC R&D) in Scappoose. Another $100,000 of the award will be earmarked for scholarships for deserving Oregon Tech students at large.

A brand new effort, the $200,000 in student support will establish the DeArmond Manufacturing Fellows at Oregon Tech. Seniors from any Oregon high school are eligible to apply to be part of an integrated internship program in manufacturing at OMIC R&D, in concert with Oregon Tech’s applied bachelor’s degree programs in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. Qualified students for these prestigious positions will be selected from high schools in Oregon and will receive a 4-year, full tuition, and fees scholarship to Oregon Tech, in addition to the possibility of earning supplementary wages through a partial stipend from OMIC R&D during their internship experiences.

Oregon Tech president Nagi Naganathan said, “We are thankful for this significant investment that the DeArmond Foundation is making in Oregon Tech students. Integrating the student scholars into the new OMIC R&D enterprise is a unique approach to growing the state’s own engineering and technology workforce. Manufacturing has always been recognized as a key to prosperity. This is nurtured not only by building leading-edge manufacturing competencies but also by fostering an exceptionally qualified workforce—talented young women and men who will be the innovation and technology leaders of tomorrow.”

Once selected this Spring, students will begin building foundational skills in their first year at Oregon Tech. In the three years to follow they will cultivate not only the technical skills needed to be innovators in industry, but a deeply ingrained, hands-on applied professional development experience, allowing them to address even the most complex challenges faced by industry.

Trustees of the DeArmond Foundation said, “Robert and Leona would be pleased about the launch of the DeArmond Manufacturing Fellows program at Oregon Tech, and the impact it will have for these students pursuing a high-quality education that includes the OMIC experience. We need to work hard to cultivate excellence in student academic experiences and in building manufacturing strength here in our state. What better place to invest than in our future through supporting our next generation of technology professionals.”

OMIC has positioned itself uniquely, with a simultaneous focus on creating state-of-the-art technology solutions in manufacturing and actively encouraging future manufacturing professionals. OMIC R&D will deliver advanced manufacturing research activities through its academic research partners—Oregon Tech, Portland State University (PSU), and Oregon State University (OSU)—who will be working closely with industry professionals. This public-private partnership augments the region’s capabilities in metals, machinery, and manufacturing, and trains the next generation of manufacturing workforce, leading to quality jobs and economic development.

Senator Betsy Johnson, in whose district OMIC is located said, “The DeArmond Foundation’s investment in students will have a lasting impact not only on the recipients but also on the manufacturing workforce in Oregon. These generous scholarships and internship opportunities will give more Oregonian students an opportunity to access and excel in college. I can’t wait to meet the students who will be the first DeArmond Fellows, and see them in action at OMIC.”

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