TROY, MI – PPG Industries recently kicked off the second year of the PPG Adventures in Technology (AIT) program in the Greater Detroit area with program partner Catalyst Connection. The program is funded by a multiyear $75,000 pledge from the PPG Industries Foundation to help Catalyst Connection engage high school students and corporations in and around Detroit in 10-week collaborative projects.
"We are excited to be continuing the PPG AIT program in Greater Detroit," said Scott Dietz, Manager of Workforce Initiatives, Catalyst Connection. "After proving its value in Pittsburgh, with more than 50 companies and more than 1,000 students participating through the years, we’re happy to see AIT taking hold in Detroit as well. Students are partnered with some really cool companies to help them build on skills they’ve learned in the classroom.”
The PPG AIT program aims to interest students in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, and careers in manufacturing, by partnering them with local companies to tackle real-life business issues. This year, students from Detroit Cristo Rey High School are teaming with PPG’s automotive technology center in Troy on a project to determine the best color palette for a new hybrid/electric vehicle. The other two teams are Lakeland High School of White Lake, MI, and Vicount Industries Inc. and International Academy Macomb in Clinton Township, MI, and Lunar Industries Inc.
To give students a better feel for their project, PPG treated participating Detroit Cristo Rey High School students to the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, a portion of which enables viewing of the final assembly process for new Ford F-150s from an elevated walkway at Ford’s Dearborn, MI, truck plant. The tour is one of five attractions of The Henry Ford in Dearborn, a National Historic Landmark and nonprofit organization with a mission to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories and lives from America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation.
Cynthia Niekamp, PPG Vice President, Automotive Coatings, based at the company’s automotive technology center in Troy, said, “PPG is strongly committed to supporting the communities where its employees work and live. We are proud that PPG AIT is providing an opportunity for Detroit-area students to explore various career choices, learn about teamwork and apply their classroom knowledge in the STEM disciplines to solving real-world problems.”