“It’s a tremendous endorsement of what we’re doing,” says Fox Valley Technical College Foundation Manager Deb Woodworth about the $103,000 gift the Bemis Company Foundation presented to the college for scholarships. “It was the single-largest gift our Foundation ever received,” she adds.
Bemis, one of northeast Wisconsin’s largest employers, manufactures flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive materials that are used in such industries as food, medical, pharmaceutical, chemical, agribusiness, and graphic arts. Founded in 1858 by Judson Moss Bemis, who then had only three employees, the company now employs around 15,700 people in 10 countries. “The majority of our packing is used in the food industry, and you can find Bemis products in almost every aisle of the grocery store,” says Gene Seashore, Bemis vice president and chair of the Bemis Foundation’s Contributions Committee.
The company established the Bemis Foundation in 1959 to encourage the development of social welfare and health, educational, cultural, and civic institutions in the communities in which it operates.
Bemis’ gift to FVTC will make a long-lasting impact on the college and its students. “From the gift, $80,000 established endowed scholarships,” Woodworth says. “With that amount, Bemis is investing in students who are directly related to its business. It funds three scholarships; two in Electro-Mechanical Technology and the other in our Packaging and Label Printing Technician program. The endowment funds more than $4,000 collectively for these three scholarship awards annually.”
Thomas Hintz, a two-time recipient of a Bemis Company Foundation scholarship, is now employed at Bemis as an electromechanical technician and credits the scholarship with preparing him for his career. “The Bemis scholarship allowed me to apply my skills in a fun and challenging work environment,” he says.
In the past, Bemis has also contributed to the college’s capital campaigns. “As a major employer in the Fox Valley, Bemis wanted to do what we could to encourage the continued development of a strong local workforce,” Seashore says. “Contributing to local educational institutions represents an important way to do that.”
Woodworth couldn’t be more pleased with the financial support Bemis has provided to the College. “Businesses in the community know that we’re training their future workers,” she says. “The scholarships we award through partnerships like this one with Bemis help develop a strong workforce.”
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