N.C. A&T Alumni Lead Molding Kids for Success, Host First Manufacturing Month

By East L. Dockery / 11/07/2023 Alumni, College of Business and Economics, College of Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 7, 2023) – Molding Kids for Success, a local nonprofit founded and operated by three North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumni, recently hosted its first Manufacturing Month at Core Technology Molding Corp.

Molding Kids for Success, created by Geoff Foster ’90 and ’96, Brandon Frederick ’16, and Foster’s son, Jeremiah Foster ’21, strives to educate the youth of the East Greensboro community about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career fields.

Geoff Foster, who earned his B.S. and M.S. in industrial technology with a concentration in applied engineering technology, is CEO and president of Core Technology. Frederick earned his B.S. in applied engineering technology and serves as engineering manager at Core Technology, while Jeremiah Foster earned his B.S. in supply chain management and works in business development at Core Technology.

“We expose kids to STEM by combining classroom experiments with real world application on the manufacturing floor,” said Geoff Foster, who was named to Triad Business Journal’s 2023 Power Players list. “Not only are we ‘molding kids for success,’ but we are molding kids to have a brighter future.”

Core Technology was founded by Geoff Foster in 2006 and broke ground in 2017 at Gateway Research Park.  Core Technology has developed into a leading molding firm known for excellence in the manufacture of highly engineered plastic products that have tight tolerances, require sophisticated tool designs and mandate efficient manufacturing.

“We started Molding Kids for Success about a year ago and we’ve done a lot of advanced manufacturing with youth and the kids,” said Jeremiah Foster. “We brought in about 500 kids in the month of October, introducing them to STEM career fields.”

During Manufacturing Month, students in elementary schools through high schools within Guilford County Schools students, from elementary through high school levels, tour and learn more about manufacturing at Core Technology.

“A typical tour for Molding Kids for Success is the students come through and do a tour of our plastics manufacturing facility,” said Frederick. “So, they get a chance to see the production floor and each student that comes through gets a custom nameplate with their first name, last name, name of the school, and the date so it’s kind of keepsake and memorabilia.”

Daniel Simpson, a senior intern from Greensboro, North Carolina who is studying applied engineering technology leads the activity," a CNC (computer numerical control) machining demonstration where we engrave the names of the student, their school and the date on a three by two aluminum plate,” he said.

“Before we give them their nameplates, we face it off and deburr it so it’s not sharp and what the kids get out of that is they see how metal stuff is made and what kind of processes go into making stuff that they may see around the house,” said Simpson. “It’s a great opportunity to see what goes into STEM and engineering.”

Students also are able to participate in hands-on activities with the Novozymes Innovation Mobile Lab provided by United Way of Franklin County.

“I think it’s very positive to expose the children, especially middle schoolers, to advanced manufacturing where they think or their parents think that manufacturing is dirty,” said Geoff Foster. “Some think it’s not clean and when they come here, they get a chance to see a clean room, a clean sterile facility and they get to see the robotics and that’s really enlightening for them.”

“Within the first year of Molding Kids for Success, I think maybe we had 40 kids come through Core Technology for the whole year,” he said. “This year we had 500 just in the Manufacturing Month so that’s pretty powerful.”

“One moment that stood out to me was when Simpkins Elementary (students) came, they said that this was the first time they’ve ever taken a field trip,” said Frederick, “and this was one of the kids’ first time ever being exposed to manufacturing and he said he would remember the trip for the rest of his life.”

Molding Kids for Success, which hosts a summer camp, uses Manufacturing Month as a pre-recruitment opportunity and a way to spark students’ interest in coming back to learn more about manufacturing.

“We had six weeks of camp this summer, so 20 kids came in per week. They got a laptop, they got a lab jacket, they got to go in the clean room,” said Geoff Foster. “The work that we were doing was talked about in the community and Guilford County Schools presented that on their website, which I think helped with the exposure. They helped us get traction where kids just didn’t know about it.”

Having the ability to inspire children in the East Greensboro community is rewarding for the Fosters, Frederick and other N.C. A&T employees at the company.

“It’s definitely heart-warming,” said Jeremiah Foster. “They realize that manufacturing doesn’t have to be boring. When you go in our facility, it’s robotics, it’s futuristic, it’s the new way of doing things, and I think the kids really enjoy it. Maybe they weren’t pursuing a career in manufacturing, but they realize that there’s a spot for them if they want to do that.”

“I think what’s important is that myself, an A&T graduate, most of my engineers are A&T graduates, like Brandon and Jeremiah, who are running the program. They are all Aggies,” said Geoff Foster. “But what I think is really important is that we’re touching East Greensboro. So, by being located in East Greensboro, we’re able to give kids of color the exposure to see advanced manufacturing.”

For more information about Molding Kids for Success, visit https://www.coretechnologycorp.com/molding-kids.

Media Contact Information: eldockery@ncat.edu

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