(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam High School is one of 22 districts to receive state funding for their fabrication laboratory. Governor Scott Walker declared Tuesday as Fab Lab Day throughout Wisconsin and in recognition several state officials visited the Beaver Dam campus to mark the announcement.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Vice President of International Business Development Katy Sinnott says a total of 63 districts competed for the state grant. She says what stood out in Beaver Dam’s application was the readiness of the district, a curriculum program that has been developed around the fab lab and partnerships with local businesses such as Apache Stainless Equipment, Mayville Engineering and John Deere Horicon.
The Beaver Dam High School will receive $25-thousand dollars from the WEDC grant program which is awarding roughly $500-thousand dollars in total to the 22 districts. As part of the 2017-19 state budget, Walker directed the WEDC to allocate $1-million dollars in fab lab funding this year and next. The grant requires a one-to-one match from the district and the lab must be made accessible to the public once it is fully functional.
State Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau says it is important for businesses to have a local pipeline of talented individuals who want a career in manufacturing. He says Beaver Dam and the Dodge County area has been actively engaged for over 100 years in the in the field manufacturing.
High School Principal Crystal Bates says there is something special about Beaver Dam and is proud to be part of district that that continues to build a strong relationship with the community.
In addition to the grant funding, the WEDC will provide the district with information and a video on how to set up and equip a fab lab. The Waupun Jr/Sr High School was also a recipient of the grant.