This year has given us plenty of opportunities to look inward and study who we are and how we treat people. We have been dismayed by the inequality we’ve seen over the years, culminating this summer with multiple protests. From what I’ve heard, most businesses and organizations are evaluating their own policies. We here at my parent company WTWH Media are doing just that, working towards diversity and inclusiveness corporately but also personally.
As we look at our own fluid power industry, though, we must do better for our young people. In my network of the many wonderful people working in this industry, it’s rare to find minorities and women.
That’s why I was delighted to learn that the NFPA is looking to diversify the applicant pool for its $2,000 Fluid Power Scholarships to help students enrolled in high schools, technical colleges and university engineering schools pursue their interests in fluid power.
NFPA needs to identify organizations that would be interested in promoting the scholarship to these communities, through related engineering organizations, local community organizations, and others. Reach out to Amy Zignego at email@example.com if you’re interested in helping in this regard.
In the meantime, let’s start introducing engineering and fluid power at a young age — how can we develop and mentor teams for the Fluid Power Action Challenge in schools that are mostly minorities? Can we work with minority teams for the Annual FIRST Robotics Challenge, which NFPA also provides a significant scholarship for? Are there mostly Black engineering colleges that could participate in the NFPA Vehicle Challenge?
I am sure it’s rare to find a young person that says they want to be a fluid power engineer or work in fluid power distribution while they’re a child (unless, perhaps, they may work in a family business). But we can change that by actively getting into communities and schools and introducing children, of all races and capabilities, to an industry that offers a promising future and careers at some of the best companies in the world.
It’s time for a change. Our future deserves it.