UEDA Award for Women Who Weld

By: Jennifer Bruen, MSU CCED, Project Coordinator, bruenjen@msu.edu

CCED Innovative Fellow Samantha Farr and MSU team accepting the UEDA Award of Excellence.In a close competition in June 2017, the REI supported project, Women Who Weld (WWW), was selected as a 2017 University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Awards of Excellence Finalist. Women Who Weld is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit based in Detroit that teaches women how to weld and find employment in the welding industry. WWW received support from REI in a variety of ways. Each year, higher education institutions and organizations across North America submit nominations to UEDA which focus on innovative programs that develop economic prosperity in their communities and regions. The UEDA awards are designed to help accelerate programs by recognizing cutting edge initiatives and to promote their adoption by other universities and communities. Program categories include Innovation, Talent, and Place, and the intersections of these three categories. This year, the award panel of university and economic development professionals chose 24 finalists, including WWW, from the group of nominated projects.

Those attending UEDA's Annual Summit from October 1-4, 2017 in Long Beach, California, judged nominees based upon whether they could be considered a leading initiative within each category. Criterion for judging consisted of initiative replicability, scalability, sustainability, impact, and originality. On the second day of the conference, UEDA announced that the REI Women Who Weld project had won the "Talent" category. WWW's win highlights the fact that this project is exemplary of higher education institutions partnerships and how they should support and behave on local workforce development initiatives in distressed communities. For more information about Women Who Weld, click here.

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