Community Foundation of Noble County awarded Ignite Your Future Program scholarships and grant by the Don Wood Foundation

FORT WAYNE, IND. (Nov. 29, 2023) – The Community Foundation of Noble County is pleased to be an Ignite Your Future Program grant recipient of the Don Wood Foundation. DWF created the Ignite Your Future Program to grow and strengthen advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship in northeast Indiana and beyond.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Don Wood Foundation for illuminating the path to education in Noble County, Indiana and Northeast Indiana. Their unwavering commitment to fostering knowledge and empowering our residents through scholarships and grants is paving the way for dreams to flourish. The Don Wood Foundation’s generosity not only opens doors to education but also transforms aspirations into reality, creating a legacy of empowerment for generations to come. Thank you, Don Wood Foundation, for investing in the limitless potential of Noble County and shaping a future filled with promise and achievement,” said Jennifer Norris, director of communications and scholarships, Community Foundation of Noble County.

The Ignite Your Future Program creates opportunities for those living in Noble County, Ind who seek to advance their education in fields related to engineering, industrial technology, and machine tool technology. Examples of fields that Ignite Your Future Program supports include those considered part of Industry 4.0, which is the digital transformation of manufacturing/production, related industries, and value creation processes.

Broader eligible areas for scholarships include:

  • ​Fields related to Engineering and Industrial Technology such as automation engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, controls engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering design, computer and information technology, automation and systems integration technology, cybersecurity, data analytics, mechatronics, robotics, and industrial informatics;
  • Technology education or leadership;
  • Sales or marketing;
  • Organizational leadership and supervision; and
  • Entrepreneurship.

“We are proud to partner with community foundations such as the Community Foundation of Noble County to incentivize workforce and personal development for local residents,” said Laura Macknick, president and CEO, Don Wood Foundation. “Collaborations like this strengthen the entire region, and we believe that Don Wood would applaud this effort.”

Scholarships and grants in the following areas will be offered to Noble County residents:
certification or associate degree: up to $2,500 per scholarship recipient per semester;
bachelor’s degree: up to $5,000 per scholarship recipient;
graduate degree: up to $5,000 per scholarship recipient per semester;
Workplace Preparedness Grant: up to $1,000 per recipient.

Grants will help recent graduates with a certification, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree to acquire the tools and supplies they need to begin work. A recent graduate is defined as an individual who has completed a certification or degree in a field related to the areas of study listed below in the last 12 months and has accepted employment in northeast Indiana.

Technical Educator Grants: $5,000 per educator per year
Technical Educator Grants can support training, education, and professional development opportunities for technical educators and instructors in the county.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Community Foundation of Noble County’s website at to learn more about Ignite Your Future Program opportunities under the scholarship tab.  The deadline to apply for scholarships is Jan. 18, 2024. Grant applications for the Technical Educator Grants will be available soon.

Specific areas of study that are eligible for Ignite Your Future Program scholarships are smart manufacturing, industrial automation and robotics, industrial maintenance, precision machining, welding technology, cybersecurity, information technology operations, networking, software development, computer science, design technology, electronics and computer technology, and engineering.

The Don Wood Foundation invited community foundations in northeast Indiana to present the Ignite Your Future Program grants and scholarships to students in the communities they serve. This is a two-year pilot program scheduled to begin in Noble County in the coming weeks.

About the Don Wood Foundation

The Don Wood Foundation is a private foundation, established in 2018 by Don Wood, founder of 80/20, Inc., which serves and supports innovators, leaders, collaborators, and skilled workers with the potential to create and sustain opportunities in manufacturing. The Foundation partners with nonprofits and educational institutions to provide sustained investment that supports the development of a diverse workforce through exposure, education, and training to create strong communities rooted in the advancement of manufacturing. Follow Don Wood Foundation on Facebook and LinkedIn.