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News | April 22, 2024

NextFlex News - April 2024

By NextFlex

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last month, we had the privilege of hosting a fantastic Innovation Days at the Santa Clara Marriott. We enjoyed seeing all of the members that were able to attend! For those of you who were unable to attend, members or otherwise, we wanted to keep you apprised of some of the announcements that were made during the event.

First, we would like to take a moment to recognize our new NextFlex Fellows. As always, these NextFlex Fellows have demonstrated great leadership and subject matter expertise in support of the NextFlex mission. Our new Fellows include:

  • Kenneth Church, Ph.D., nScrypt
  • Andrew Kwas, Northrop Grumman
  • Erick King, Capital Youth Empowerment Program
  • David Sabanosh, US Army DEVCOM Armament Center
  • Madhu Stemmermann, SunRay Scientific, Inc.

Left photo: 2024 Fellows Award recipients are presented with plaques by the NextFlex Co-Executive Directors. (L to R) Erick King, Dr. Art Wall, David Sabanosh, Dr. Kenneth Church, Andrew Kwas, and Dr. Scott Miller. Right photo: (L to R) Madhu Stemmermann receives her plaque from Dr. Art Wall.

Congratulations to these five deserving individuals! We are very lucky to have you in our NextFlex community.

Becky Lewis (left), NextFlex Director of Workforce Development, presents Terri Burgess Sandu (middle), LCCC Director of Talent and Business Innovation, and Deanna Hersko (right), LCCC Manager of K12 CTE Pathways & Programs, with a certificate in recognition of their designation as a NextFlex Education and Workforce Development Innovation Center.

Speaking of congratulations, we also recognized Lorain County Community College as our first Education and Workforce Development Innovation Center. The EWD Innovation Center designation is reserved for NextFlex members who demonstrate leadership while making an extraordinary contribution to NextFlex’s education and workforce development program. LCCC has been a NextFlex member since 2016 and an adopter of FlexFactor®, NextFlex’s flagship K-12 STEM & entrepreneurship project-based learning program since 2018.

“Lorain County Community College has been the ultimate partner, in every sense of the word, since the very beginning,” said Courtney Power, NextFlex Deputy Director of Education and Workforce Development. We appreciate everything they have done to educate and train the emerging and incumbent workforce and to create a deep and diverse STEM talent pipeline needed for the advanced manufacturing sector.

Finally, we wanted to inform you of a new initiative that is near and dear to many of us. We have launched an Education and Workforce Development fundraising effort in order to create more opportunities for women in STEM.

According to an article published on April 1, 2021 by the Pew Research Center entitled, “STEM Jobs See Uneven Progress in Increasing Gender, Racial and Ethnic Diversity,” women make up a quarter or fewer of workers in computing and engineering, and while strides have been made in related fields, men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. NextFlex believes that it is our responsibility to create an industry where everyone – our members, customers, and partners – thrive by belonging to a community that is focused on innovation, collaboration, and growth. It is our mission to inform, inspire, attract, and recruit top talent into the manufacturing sector.

Through an ambitious $5M fundraising goal, NextFlex Learning Programs aims to galvanize under-represented talent and stimulate greater gender equity in the STEM field by growing confidence of females in STEM, helping women envision themselves in the STEM workforce, and supporting them in their early career. Together, we can transform the landscape of leaders in STEM. Click here to learn more or to make a gift to NextFlex Learning Programs and help us jumpstart NextFlex Supports Women in STEM.

I hope to see many of you at TechBlick’s June event, The Future of Electronics Reshaped, and at the FLEX Conference in July!


Art Wall, Ph.D.
NextFlex Director of Engineering & Fab Operations and Co-Executive Director Pro Tem