As Pequea Valley High School learners and others looked on, Molly Rogers, with an assist from Valerie Verity, cut a ribbon to inaugurate an enhanced STEM lab at the high school. The lab was recently equipped with seven programmable logic controllers, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Case New Holland Industrial Foundation. Rogers and Verity are HR administrators for the New Holland CNH Industrial operation. They were instrumental in securing the grant.

KINZERS, Pa. — Pequea Valley High School STEM students received seven new tools recently that will give them a leg up in the rapidly changing local job market.

The tools are programmable logic controllers designed to help PV learners master the tiny computers that are ubiquitous in modern electronic machines, from household appliances to sophisticated manufacturing machinery.

The controllers are in the science lab thanks to a $25,000 grant from the CNH Industrial Foundation.

A foundation spokesperson said in an email, “The grant is the first of its kind from our CNH Industrial Foundation connected to the New Holland site/community.

“The intent is for a long term partnership to continue to evolve with the school district. The grant to Pequea Valley HS was very unique in terms of its connection with the annual CNH Industrial Educational Grants Program (initiated in 2018), which focuses specifically on transformative STEM education grants for local schools.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Peter Caddick, who works in New Holland and who is the global platform manager for CNH Industrial, spoke briefly at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new equipment. Caddick said while some Pequea Valley graduates may eventually bring their skills to CNH plants, the grants to this and other nearby school districts are investments in the communities, rather than the company’s future workforce. He said programmable controller skills are applicable in many manufacturing processes, HVAC systems, amusement park rides and a myriad of other processes.