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Create, enhance and sustain meaningful partnerships.


Adopt-A-School is an initiative of Discover Manufacturing that looks to promote careers in West Michigan's manufacturing industry by establishing partnerships between employers and students of all ages.

This program is designed to mutually benefit local businesses and their surrounding schools as they:

  • Create rewarding and sustainable partnerships.

  • Strengthen the impact of school initiatives.

  • Develop familiarity between students, families, and employers.

  • Generate a pipeline of future manufacturers within our communities.



Educators, counselors, and students looking for local manufacturing partners for career exploration opportunities, company tours, internships, etc., your first move begins here

Finding a local manufacturer is easy with this interactive map of manufacturers throughout West Michigan. This map allows you to filter by proximity and specific types of manufacturing. 

Once you have identified a few local manufacturers of interest, Adopt-A-School recommends reaching out to them with your proposed partnership. If the manufacturer expresses reservations, please let them know Discover Manufacturing and a fellow local manufacturer are ready to provide guidance and ideas to make the partnership a success. 

Raising Hands

The possibilities are endless


No matter your previous level of engagement, having fresh ideas to bring your business closer to local schools is important. The Engagement Opportunity Matrix is designed to help manufacturers consider what is a suitable engagement level.

Here's a collection of partnership ideas collected from West Michigan schools and businesses.

  • MiCareerQuest
    Participate in a career exploration experience that highlights high-demand industries like manufacturing.
  • Discover Manufacturing Week
    Learn more about a hands-on initiative addressing the talent needs of West Michigan manufacturers.
  • Mentoring Programs
    Partner with a local school and encourage your employees to mentor students of all ages.
  • Special Readers
    Think "March is Reading Month." Introduce elementary students to manufacturing and read some of their favorite books.
  • Company Tours
    Group tours are fun ways to engage kids of all ages. For the younger grades, think about having the kids complete a scavenger hunt during the tour. For the older kids, challenge them to connect what they are learning in school to what employees are doing.
  • Team Sponsorship
    Think First Robotics. Support a team financially or with mentors. Maybe invite the team into your facility to showcase what they've completed!
  • Donation Drives
    School supply drives, Toys for Tots, items for teacher appreciation week, sports equipment for gym classes, or library books - schools in all areas have needs. Find out what those are, and encourage employees to contribute! Make it fun! Maybe there is a drawing for an extra vacation day for someone who contributed? And when you donate the items, bring a whole team from your company to do so! Encourage all levels of the organization to get involved.
  • Tutoring
    Whether elementary reading or high school math, all our school districts need tutors. Invite anyone to sign up to help tutor a young mind!
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences
    Host a table at parent-teacher conferences to hand out some goodies with your company logo and provide information to parents and guardians about job opportunities at your facility. You never know who might be looking for an opportunity!
  • Sponsor a Field Trip
    Field trips are memorable for kids of all ages! Consider helping a classroom, grade, or school visit a museum and have employees sign up to join them as chaperones!
  • Judge an Event
    Judge school events such as spelling bees, talent shows, or science fairs - there are never enough volunteers in the schools. Encourage employees to sign up to be "local celebrity" judges at science fairs, spelling bees, or other events!
  • Sponsor an Award
    Highlight and celebrate good traits in students that you would want to see continue in the workforce. Sponsor school awards or ceremonies such as "Perfect Attendance" or graduations.
  • Job Shadowing
    Provide job shadow opportunities - high schools around the area are looking for ways to integrate the workforce into their curriculum. Allow students to shadow various departments and see where their interests might lie!
  • Career Speakers
    Offer career speakers – have various team members speak to students about those careers and the many others that manufacturing offers.
  • Internships
    Internships are a great way to expose youth to the manufacturing world. Provide high school and college internships in partnership with your local schools.
  • Share Job Postings
    Share your company's job openings with your local schools. Schools can easily connect with their students' parents and guardians.
  • Organize Community Events
    School clean up or community safety days are good for giving back to the community. Volunteer to clean up your local school.
  • Junior Achievement
    JA is a great program that allows individuals the opportunity to teach and mentor students. Contact local school and see if they are participating, get a list of classes needed, and open up the opportunity to teach to all of your employees.
  • Family Events
    Consider having employees volunteer for school-family events such as "Fun Night" or field days.
  • Host a Job Fair
    A great way to connect with those soon to graduate or parents of students is to host a school-specific job fair. Get together some local employers and offer hours for juniors or seniors to look at opportunities for the summer, co-op, or after graduation.
  • Career-Tech Programs
    West Michigan has some wonderful career technology education programs. Engage with school districts to find talent, mentor students, or do presentations specific to your industry.
  • Signing Day
    Not all students are college-bound and even fewer participate in "signing day" to be student-athletes. It's a great way to introduce new employees to your company and make them feel welcome among their new peers.
Partnership Ideas


We share a common goal of connecting neighborhood schools with local businesses and expanding

manufacturing talent. Please share your feedback and/or success stories with us.


Additionally, if you have any questions, please let us know. 

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