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Bosch Expands Partnership With FIRST® to Help Bridge STEM Gap, Increase Community Engagement

Company will continue to empower students and associates as FIRST® Strategic Partner

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) recently announced that Bosch has become a FIRST Strategic Partner. FIRST is a global K-12 not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Bosch has been involved with FIRST since 2000, supporting robotics teams with sponsorships, mentor programs and equipment assistance centers, as well as providing scholarship opportunities to FIRST students. The strategic partnership announcement represents a larger commitment by Bosch to FIRST.

As a Strategic Partner, Bosch will have the opportunity to utilize its industry experience to offer insights for FIRST programs. It will continue to provide funding, equipment, volunteers and more to enhance the reach and overall impact of FIRST.

“By sharing our knowledge and resources with FIRST students, Bosch is not only investing in the future of STEM but building relationships between students and mentors,” said Charlie Ackerman, senior vice president of Human Resources for Bosch in North America. “It’s so important to give our time to mentor these young people. As a Strategic Partner of FIRST, Bosch is continuing to grow its support of FIRST teams and educating and inspiring the next generation of talent.”

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The demand for STEM-educated employees continues to rise, and in the future the need will outpace the number of prepared candidates if left unaddressed. Bosch’s partnership with FIRST is a critical component of its larger effort to close the STEM skills gap.

“To close the STEM skills gap, we need businesses and communities engaged and working together to help young people prepare for an ever-changing workforce. Bosch, a longtime FIRST supporter, understands this completely,” said Donald E. Bossi, president of FIRST. “We’re thrilled to recognize Bosch as a FIRST Strategic Partner and to continue connecting Bosch associates and resources to FIRST teams so we can inspire and open pathways for more kids.”

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This season, Bosch associates will volunteer more than 30,000 hours mentoring students on robotics teams. For the 2018-2019 season, Bosch will support more than 60 teams in the U.S., with Bosch associates acting as coaches, mentors, designers and general volunteers to teams. These volunteers will engage with the four FIRST programs: FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. (Grades K-4), FIRST® LEGO® League (Grades 4-8), FIRST® Tech Challenge (Grades 7-12), and FIRST® Robotics Competition (Grades 9-12).

Bosch also offers two four-year scholarships annually to high school seniors who have participated in FIRST for at least two years and plan to pursue a STEM degree.

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