DeArmond Public Foundation grant will fund fellowship program for Oregon Tech and high school students

A $300,000 donation from the Robert J. and Leona DeArmond Public Foundation will spark the first round of internships for high school students at the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center.

The endowment was awarded to the Oregon Institute of Technology, an educational leader currently overseeing OMIC.SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - The Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center in Scappoose is slated to host students for the first time and offer internships, thanks to a a $300,000 donation from the Robert J. and Leona DeArmond Public Foundation.

According to Oregon Tech, $200,000 of the funds will be awarded to five high school students who will get their fees and tuition paid for four years at Oregon Tech, with the opportunity for internships in research and development at OMIC in Scappoose.

The other $100,000 will be used for scholarship money for "deserving Oregon Tech students at large," a news release from OIT states.

This marks the first time Oregon Tech has been able to offer internships at the OMIC campus.

Di Saunders, a spokeswoman for Oregon Tech, said the goal is to get students at the OMIC site as much as possible, but there will likely be the opportunity for remote streaming from OMIC for students who attend Oregon Tech's Wilsonville or Klamath Falls campuses.

"The scholarships are a great start for students to begin at OMIC," Saunders said. Students apply for the internships, much like they would a job, she explained. Students will leave the program with years of industry experience.

DeArmond trustees said the foundation's benefactors would be pleased about the new DeArmond Manufacturing Fellows program at Oregon Tech.

Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, also praised the launch of the manufacturing internships.

"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," Johnson stated in the news release. "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."

Johnson was instrumental in helping Oregon Tech secure the scholarship funding, Saunders said.

Fully funded internship recipients will be selected this spring.

As OMIC prepares to host students, Saunders said new machines are slated to be delivered to the site in the next couple of months.

OMIC, a manufacturing research and development center spearheaded by the Boeing Company and Oregon Tech, will rely heavily on paid memberships from manufacturing companies. So far, agreements have been secured with 12 companies, including Boeing, Daimler Trucks North America, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Vigor, among others.

The deadline to apply for the fellowship program is Monday, March 12. Visit the OIT website for application information.

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