Ingersoll Rand has awarded six U.S. high schools in five states with $120,000 in grant monies from its charitable foundation as part of its Real Tools For Schools Program. This is the second grant the six schools have received from Ingersoll Rand.
Real Tools for Schools supports programs within high schools across the country with grants and employee volunteerism to enhance education for students in automotive technology programs with updated equipment, supplies, instructor training and curricula. These grants are part of the company’s 2020 sustainability commitment to support 100 community colleges and technical schools worldwide to further technical education.
“Schools desperately need this funding to invest in new equipment, instructor education and to prepare graduates for employment opportunities and postsecondary education,” said Austin Lieb, vice president of product management at Ingersoll Rand Power Tools. “Ingersoll Rand locations across the country are actively engaged in furthering technical education, inspiring progress in our communities and contributing to the next generation of the automotive workforce.”
The U.S. Department of Education reports that individuals who chose technical careers like automotive technicians and pursue education in their field of study are more likely to be employed and working within their fields of study than those with academic degrees. However, more than 10 states have reduced their funding for technical education, according to the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education.
Schools that received a Real Tools for Schools grant include:
- Fitzgerald High School (Warren, Mich.) – The school will purchase 30 new computers and software to replace its 28-year-old program that its 200 students use annually to learn about starting and charging automotive systems.
- Lee County High School (Sanford, N.C.) – The Real Tools for Schools grant will help the school achieve its goal to design an automotive service shop that mirrors that of an auto dealership service department. The school’s automotive program simulates work-based learning opportunities for students to enhance learning and create real-world experiences. The school will purchase a tire balancing machine, a tire mounting machine, a wheel alignment machine, a drop air hose, electrical reels, metal safety signs and instructions, lockable tool storage units, a laptop and a printer.
- Maiden High School (Maiden, N.C.) – Maiden High School serves 200 students per year and is the only school in its county with automotive technology courses. The school will purchase tools for its alignment machine, accessories for the computer diagnostic station, a tire pressure monitor for proper tire rotation training and an automotive refrigerant reclaimer to teach students about HVAC repair.
- Maplewood High School (Nashville, Tenn.) – Maplewood has an automotive training center, enabling students to complete professional certification and service vehicles. The Real Tools for Schools grant will be used to enhance equipment training that prepares students for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) testing and to replace the school’s 10-year-old wheel alignment system.
- North Montco Technical Career Center (Lansdale, Pa.) – The school will purchase software to teach students about automotive systems and electronic theory, laptops and a digital whiteboard projector. With these improvements, instructors will teach students about sophisticated modern vehicle technologies and better prepare them for postsecondary education and career opportunities.
- R.L. Turner High School (Carrollton, Texas) – The school will purchase additional seating to accommodate the growing number of students within each classroom and an electronics circuit kit with online curriculum that syncs computer-based learning with hands-on, applied learning. The school will also purchase a passenger car that students will disassemble and reassemble into a dune buggy.
Since 2015, Real Tools for Schools has contributed $620,000 in total grant funding to 50 participating schools, benefiting more than 5,000 students nationwide. With the funding, schools invest in diagnostic equipment, welding machines, laptop computers, paint stations, car lifts, work benches, storage cabinets, alignment equipment, drill presses, field trips, and training and development. Ingersoll Rand Power Tools employees also engage with participating high schools to provide seminars, hands-on training and learning enrichment experiences for students enrolled in automotive technicians programs. Automotive technology schools are also eligible for discounts on Ingersoll Rand power tools, and some schools have received donated, refurbished tools from the company.
For more information about the Real Tools for Schools program, visit myir.com/RealtoolsRealSchools/index.html.