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Kent's OMAX Corp. honored for leadership in educational outreach
Kent-based OMAX Corporation, a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced abrasive waterjet technology, recently received the inaugural Inspire Award from the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.
The award acknowledges OMAX's exceptional leadership and creativity in cultivating student interest in future aerospace manufacturing careers.
Of the company's many educational outreach initiatives, one main focus has long been to provide youth with easy access to the manufacturing industry. From secondary education and high school programs to extensive higher education internship opportunities, OMAX facilitates student participation in pursuing high-skill, high-paying manufacturing jobs.
"Manufacturing is a viable and growing industry that makes for a lucrative career path, yet shops everywhere continue to find it increasingly difficult to find skilled workers." said John Cheung, chairman and CEO of OMAX Corporation. "One reason for this gap is people's misconception that manufacturing facilities are dark, dirty and low-tech places. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Today's manufacturing environments are clean, safe and extremely high-tech. Therefore, OMAX takes pride in working with students of all ages and encouraging them to be the next generation of manufacturing and technology leaders."
As part of its outreach efforts, OMAX serves as an ongoing manufacturing mentor and supporter of Aviation High School's SkunkworksRobotics and Highline High Tekerz Robotics teams. During a six-week build season, OMAX engineers work closely with students and teachers in the production of advanced robot components. Teams are able to design, fabricate and test all robot components using OMAX's advanced abrasive waterjet technology.
Working with top technical colleges and universities
The company's educational commitments also extend into higher education. For more than five years, OMAX has participated in rotating internship and co-op programs offered by some of the top technical colleges and universities in the United States. Educational institutions, such as Kettering University, Renton College, the University of Washington and Washington State University, work closely with OMAX to offer students real-world experience and hands-on training in the manufacturing industry.
"We are truly honored to have received the Inspire Award for our educational outreach. Through our educational programs, we are exposing students to engineering and manufacturing practices that will help them when pursuing a career in manufacturing. We also make it a point to generate job opportunities for graduating students," Cheung said.