CLEVELAND – Lakeshore Technical College received a $2,500 Innovation Award from AT&T Friday to support Project G.R.I.L.L.

Project G.R.I.L.L. (Growing Readiness In Learning and Leading) pairs high school students in Sheboygan County with manufacturing companies to build a customized grill from the ground up. The goal of the program is to expose high school students to technology and careers in manufacturing.

“Manufacturers throughout the county are looking for technically skilled men and women who can effectively meet today’s challenges and beyond,” Scott Kuehn, a talent acquisition coordinator at Bemis Manufacturing Company, said in a press release. “Our mission reflects how we’re going to get there: improve the image of manufacturing through exposing our community, educators, students and parents to the diverse career opportunities within Sheboygan County. Ultimately, working towards creating an expansive workforce to sustain the success we are cultivating today. This AT&T contribution will help us further our efforts to educate and encourage students to consider exciting careers in manufacturing.”

Project G.R.I.L.L. pairs seven high schools with seven manufacturing companies in Sheboygan County on a project to design and build eight custom grills. The goal is to not only build excitement about the variety of career options within the field of manufacturing, but also to provide mentors to students.

Students in each school are split into teams and take on roles in areas such as finance, leadership, or manufacturing. The partnering company provides mentorship and direction. “They get a flavor for manufacturing work, electrical work, maintenance work, the planning and the overall process of taking an idea and turning it into a reality.

“Students get an opportunity to work with real-life professionals in the manufacturing industry and learn how a well-run organization operates and functions,” Kuehn said.

The AT&T contribution will support Project G.R.I.L.L.’s mission to improve the image of manufacturing by exposing the community, educators, students and parents to the diverse career opportunities available in manufacturing within Sheboygan County.

“We are proud to support the efforts of Sheboygan County education and business leaders to engage students in the promising careers available in advanced manufacturing,” Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin, said in a press release. “As a company, AT&T is committed to investing in education and helping prepare our young people for future success.”

Through participation in Project G.R.I.L.L., high school students are able to earn up to 9 technical college credits.

The AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award program provides funding to organizations and programs that improve the community by advancing education, enhancing the environment, promoting economic development or delivering vital community services.