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68 FLEX007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 Matties: Has there been any thought given to troubled youths, maybe in detention centers or something along those lines? Parmeter: Yes, we've run the program with fos- ter youth, and with a continuation school for students who have struggled in the conven- tional school system. These iterations highlight the social responsibility aspect of the program because you engage a population of students who would not normally find themselves exposed to this type of environment. We also work with a wide variety of public schools— many of which have student populations that are largely on low-cost and free lunch programs. Interestingly, we often come across student teams from these schools with drastically dif- ferent product ideas than those from more affluent school systems. One team had a mem- ber whose cousin was recently incarcerated for drug use, so they conceptualized a low-profile, flexible parole monitor that used advanced sensors and microfluidics to flag drug use. If drugs were detected, the bracelet would alert friends or family members so that they could intervene before the wearer got in trouble. A team of 16-year old students conceptual- ized this device, embracing advanced technol- ogy to solve real problems. Creating the drive in students to solve the world's big problems goes back to the program's ability to engage students with a range of career opportunities in advanced manufacturing. We aim to create that kind of drive, inspiring and empowering them to solve the big problems facing society and giving them the tools to do that. Matties: Part of the change is knowing that there is employment out there too. This is a new climate for kids coming out of college; they're able to get a job that is meaningful for which they now owe a quarter of a million dol- lars or whatever the number might be for edu- cation costs. Parmeter: Many of our industry partners have described this. One of the NextFlex Govern- ing Council members stated that he will take a person who graduates from this program at the same time they graduate high school, and if they demonstrate the propensity and desire to want to work, he will bring them in. He will then work with the company to help fund their two-year college and four-year college if that fits both the student's and employee's future pathway. Matties: It's a different climate, and founda- tional knowledge is everything, so great job. Is there anything that we haven't talked about that you want to include? Parmeter: It's a rewarding program across the board. As I said, for any of the audience that wants to be a part of it, we're a phone call away and can be up and running in just a matter of months. We also have great partners, such as Evergreen Valley College, Lorain County Com- munity College, Jabil, DuPont, Boeing, the Ala- bama Community College System, and many others. This program is for them and the myr- iad of others they represent so that they can help inform, inspire, attract, and recruit the future of advanced manufacturing one class of students at a time. Matties: This has been wonderful. Thank you. Parmeter: Yes, thank you for the opportunity to chat about it. Ridi: Thank you. McGrath: Thank you. FLEX007 Interestingly, we often come across student teams from these schools with drastically different product ideas than those from more affluent school systems.

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