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Partner With Local Schools To Stock Your Talent Pipeline

Start developing early the workers you need for the future

Rockwell Automation called for innovations from American kids ages eight through 17 years old in its “You Make It Challenge,” and three finalists will vie for the top prize in November. Louisa Wood, from Bayside, Wisconsin, suggested applying A.I. and sensors to sump pumps to cut basement flooding. Makai Samuels-Page of Atlanta designed an “anti-bully backpack” with a camera that would record in live time. And Michael Wilbourne of Roanoke, Virginia, conceived of a micro-flush toilet with an above-ground chamber to make third-world sanitation easier and cheaper.

Through their schools, the finalists all will receive a company grant to the local FIRST youth robotics program, and the winner will get a $7,500 “maker’s kit.” So while the Milwaukee-based factory-automation giant won’t be turning their inventions into products, maybe the three youngsters will consider Rockwell Automation as a potential employer someday.

“The persistent threat to the industry that we have to address is that there’s going to be a shortage of people with advanced manufacturing skills and interest in going to manufacturing companies,” says Rockwell Automation CEO Blake Moret. “We have to address it early with STEM-based education, starting when future workers are very young.”

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