Superintendent accepts check on district's behalf

Bluffton, Indiana (Tuesday, December 21, 2021/Don Wood Foundation) –The Area 18 Cooperative was awarded more than $1 million in funding to purchase advanced manufacturing equipment for five area high schools, thanks to the generosity of the Don Wood Foundation.

The help of the Don Wood Foundation grant will enhance educational learning experiences for the students of Adams Central, South Adams, North Adams, Bluffton-Harrison, and Blackford County School Corporations.  This funding will support equipment upgrades to ensure that Area 18 students have the skills needed for success in today’s competitive workforce.

"We're thrilled to be part of the Don Wood Foundation's generous gift," said Blackford County Superintendent Chad Yencer.  "BCS will receive over $43, 000 for the purchase of two pieces of Amatrol equipment that will enhance our Career and Technical Education program at Blackford Jr.-Sr. High School. 

Brittany Kloer, Area 18 Cooperative Director of Career and Technical Education, recognizes the importance of collaboration between CTE teachers and local industry partners as an important practice to highlight the marketability, viability, and career opportunities provided by advanced manufacturing in our communities.  “Area 18 CTE Cooperative’s partnership with the Don Wood Foundation will allow our students the opportunity to gain the training necessary to fill many of today's jobs high-skill, high-wage, or high demand occupations in the North East Economic Region.

80/20 Founder and former CEO, Don Wood, started his career at a very young age selling seeds door to door.  Being a true entrepreneur his entire life, Don gained wisdom and real-life experiences from a variety of roles, including machinist, salesman, board member, and business owner.  Don was a “toolmaker by trade…salesman by attitude.” His vision, along with sons Doug and John, for what is now known as “The Industrial Erector Set,” began in a 3,000 square foot building in 1989 and has expanded to a campus of over 255,000 square feet.  Ultimately, Don’s legacy lives on with the work of the 80/20 Foundation Trust which will help to grow and transform the manufacturing sector in NE Indiana by supporting industrial technology areas along with sales, entrepreneurism, and leadership.