Catalyst Connection Awarded Grant Giving Students Real World Manufacturing Experience

April 21, 2021 | Categories: Member News

Catalyst Connection, a leading private not-for-profit consulting and training organization is proud to announce it recently received a $150,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The Benedum Foundation offers grants to support initiatives in education, economic development, health and human services, and community development.

This grant will be used to advance manufacturing education and apprenticeships through school-business partnerships. Catalyst Connection offers numerous programs that support education initiatives. One example is their Explore the New Manufacturing program where manufacturers engage with students to offer authentic and practical experience in the manufacturing industry.

The funding requires Catalyst Connection to engage 10 schools and 150 students in their Manufacturing Innovation Challenge, 40 schools and 300 students in their What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Student Video Contest, six new high schools and 100 students in pre-apprenticeships, 100 students and teachers in National Manufacturing Day events and to write 20 stories about manufacturing in addition to creating 102 job posts for NEXT Pittsburgh.

Catalyst Connection is well-positioned to achieve these stated outcomes. For the past 20 years, they have been engaged in STEM programming to build a pipeline of talent for manufacturing companies in the Southwest Pennsylvania region.  Annually, they connect with over 60 school districts, 100 manufacturing companies, 2,000 students, and partner with over 40 regional STEM organizations. They design and develop their own programming and partner on regional and state-wide initiatives.

Catalyst Connection President and CEO Petra Mitchell says, “We are thankful to the Benedum Foundation as this grant allows us to continue our educational initiatives for developing school-business partnerships throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and introducing high school students to career opportunities in the manufacturing industry. Advancing manufacturing education and apprenticeship programs will also further Catalyst Connection’s mission to assist employers in addressing workforce recruiting and training issues.”

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation has served West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania since it was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum.

“The Benedum Foundation is pleased to support Catalyst Connection’s strategy to serve Pittsburgh’s students, makers, and manufacturers,” says Benedum Foundation Program Director and Vice President, Jim Denova. “As a mission-driven organization with a deep belief in quality education, our stated outcomes for this grant are perfectly aligned with those of Catalyst Connection – to expand quality education in manufacturing, workplace development and to strengthen and diversify the local economy.”
About Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation:

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation is an independent foundation established in 1944 by West Virginia native and oil and gas industry businessman Michael L. Benedum. In creating the Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Benedum expressed the wish that grantmaking be focused on initiatives and projects in both West Virginia and Pittsburgh, their native and adopted homes.

Michael Benedum operated his worldwide business from corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where Mr. and Mrs. Benedum lived for over 50 years. They named the Foundation in memory of their only child, Claude Worthington Benedum, who died in 1918 at age 20.

Since its inception, the Foundation has made more than 8,600 grants totaling more than half a billion dollars.

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About Catalyst Connection:

Catalyst Connection is a private not-for-profit organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We provide consulting and training services to small manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania, accelerating revenue growth and improving productivity. Through active collaboration with our clients and the manufacturing community, we contribute to the growth, vibrancy, and ongoing robustness of manufacturing in our region.

Catalyst Connection is supported, in part, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development, and by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

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