The Mission Economic Development Corporation board unanimously approved the creation of Enginuity, an initiative that connects local employer, Royal Technologies, with local youth in an effort to expose students to opportunities in engineering, design and manufacturing careers in the Rio Grande Valley.
The goal is to create a pipeline of future engineers and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) entrepreneurs that will help strengthen the manufacturing base that already exists in the Mission area.
In March 2015, Jim Vander Kolk, President of Royal Technologies Corporation, reached out to Mission EDC and started discussions on a collaboration to help create an engineering program that will not only provide a pipeline of talented individuals for Royal Technologies but will also have a long term impact in the community.
“If a program like this would have existed 15 years ago when I first came to the RGV, the students would be getting ready to graduate and enter the workforce with a good foundation. Royal Technologies’ participation in this program is a testament to our long-term plans for the region. We’re not here for a short run, we plan to grow with the community and look forward to these young engineers joining our manufacturing family in 10 to 15 years,” stated Trung Nguyen, Royal Technologies’ plant manager.
Mission EDC, having launched a computer programming initiative in the fall of 2014, knew exactly who to turn to when launching Enginuity. Sylvan Learning of the Rio Grande Valley recently embarked on a STEM-focused initiative and has partnered with Mission EDC and Royal Technologies.
“Many assume that with the rapid evolution and increased use of technology, raising the level of STEM education in a community is effortless,” said Susan Valverde, executive director of Sylvan RGV. “It only seems that way when a community takes the time to plan, stays focused and invests in the appropriate resources. We applaud Royal Technologies and Mission EDC for having the foresight and leading the region in this effort, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the demand for professionals in engineering disciplines to continue to grow, with the addition of approximately 250,000 engineering positions over the next 10 years. Furthermore, college graduates with engineering degrees can expect relatively higher wages and low unemployment rates when compared to non-engineering peers.
“Investing in people is something that both Mission EDC and Royal Technologies strongly believe in. We know that economic development is not just about recruiting companies but creating a foundation of talented individuals that are prepared to address the challenges of the future. Jim is a visionary and an excellent corporate citizen. His leadership will help take the City of Mission to the next level,” stated David Deanda, Mission EDC Board Chair.
Enginuity is open and free to the residents of Mission and will consist of multiple modules per year. Each module will be taught in groups according to age brackets. Participants will be required to attend small workshops to help them learn more about engineering. The application forms will be open beginning July 1. For more information, visit www.community.engineering or contact Mission EDC at (956) 585-0040 or Sylvan Learning at (956) 682-9800.