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Dean recognized for being champion of talent development

  • A photo of Paul.

Posted on November 21, 2017

Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, was awarded the MFG Talent Champion Award from the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA). 

The award was presented to Plotkowski at the MFG Excellence Awards Gala November 9 in Lansing. The award is given to an individual who advocates for the critical need of attracting the next generation workforce to manufacturing careers in Michigan. 

Plotkowski was nominated by Charlie Standridge, associate dean and professor of product design and manufacturing engineering at Grand Valley. Standridge said the manufacturing engineering program Plotkowski introduced to Grand Valley 25 years ago is now at its peak enrollment and includes a product design and biomedical engineering design component. 

"He has built relationships with area business leaders and companies over the years, which benefit our students and their success because many complete internships and co-ops at these organizations," said Standridge. 

MMA President Chuck Hadden said Plotkowski's development of a manufacturing engineering program prepares students to meet the needs for careers in manufacturing.

“Paul has worked tirelessly to champion the industrial-academic partnership in West Michigan and through engagement with more than 250 businesses, manufacturing’s future success owes a debt of gratitude to this industry champion," said Hadden. 

In 2016, the cooperative education program in the School of Engineering celebrated 30 years of developing engineering talent for Michigan, which began under Plotkowski's leadership. The anniversary not only marked 30 years of student success, but it marks longtime partnerships with companies in West Michigan, many of which include manufacturing businesses. 

Several Michigan companies and leaders also were recognized at the event, including Gov. Rick Snyder, who was presented with the MFG Leadership Award.