A $50,000 grant to the Charter School for Applied Technologies will be used to buy equipment for its advanced manufacturing experience lab, which provides high school students hands-on experience to pursue manufacturing careers in the region, officials said.
The grant, from the Patrick P. Lee Foundation, was announced Monday afternoon at the Town of Tonawanda campus. It will be used to buy table and band saws, a sander, drill press, planer/joiner, laser printer and a computer numerical-control milling machine, among others things.
“The lab will be used to build more focus on the biotechnology and advanced manufacturing fields to help boost the Western New York economy,” said Susan Toomey, director of development at the school. “Local organizations, such as Greatbatch, GM, Moog and the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance, have been giving us details of the skills they are looking for in employees.”
The Patrick P. Lee Foundation, created by the industrialist father of former Rep. Christopher J. Lee, funds nonprofit organizations in the areas of medical care and research; education; human and community services; and behavioral health in Erie and Niagara counties and parts of South Florida.
Last year, it joined with Erie Community College in offering a pair of two-year, engineering-based scholarships for students at the technologies charter. The annual scholarships cover tuition, school fees, books, a laptop computer and engineering calculator, and tutoring and guidance services throughout the student’s college courses.