St. Clair County news briefs - P.J. Wallbank Springs, Inc.
Partnering with local businesses to enhance student opportunities
January 24, 2019
Port Huron Northern shows off new STEAM lab, renovations
January 24, 2019
Partnering with local businesses to enhance student opportunities
January 24, 2019
Port Huron Northern shows off new STEAM lab, renovations
January 24, 2019

New partnership establishes engineering STEAM programs

A new partnership between the Port Huron Area School District and P.J. Wallbank Springs Inc. will bring engineering STEAM labs and programs to Port Huron and Port Huron Northern high schools.

The partnership was announced on Dec. 16. P.J. Wallbank Springs Inc. is a locally based global technology, design and manufacturing company.

"We are thrilled to join forces in order to provide personalized success at a completely new level for our students and potentially for future employees at P.J. Wallbank Springs," Port Huron Area School District Superintendent Jamie Cain said in a press release.

The partnership, a mutually beneficial and exclusive engagement between the two groups, will provide the following benefits:

  • Real-world application for students to identify in local manufacturing pathways of all levels.
  • Student access and relationship building with local, professional mentors in the engineering STEAM program's field of study.
  • Talent development for the next generation of workforce at P.J. Wallbank Springs Inc., which is developing talent locally with the intention of creating a career pipeline to retain it.
  • Engagement between the school communities and the families that could benefit from career exploration and training at P.J. Wallbank Springs Inc.

The aim of the program is for Port Huron students to understand the jobs that are available at companies like P.J. Wallbank Springs Inc. and realize they can train to work there during high school, right after graduating high school, after gaining additional certification and training or after pursuing a post-secondary college degree.

"I believe there is tremendous potential within the youth of our community," P.J. Wallbank Springs Inc. CEO Chris Wallbank said in the release. "Our partnership with the PHASD is a testament to this belief, as well as a belief in the leadership and vision of the PHASD's administration.

"Partnerships between industry and education are usually few and far between. It's our goal that our partnership with the PHASD sets a new standard based on the impact the students in our community will make on the world around them. We're excited for what the future holds."

More information about the partnership is expected to be announced in 2019, including a community reveal of the new P.J. Wallbank Springs Inc. Engineering STEAM Lab at Port Huron Northern High School.

Blue Water Woman of the Year nomination deadline is Jan. 4

Nominations are being accepted for the eighth annual Blue Water Woman of the Year awards, sponsored by Blue Water Woman magazine, through Jan. 4.

Nominated women must live and work in St. Clair County and should demonstrate excellence and achievement in volunteerism, mentoring other women or personal or professional achievement.

The awards will honor five women from across the Blue Water Area. A public reception for winners will take place Feb. 8 at McMorran Place in Port Huron.

Award recipients must be available to attend the Feb. 8 event and be willing to be interviewed and photographed by the Blue Water Woman staff.

Nominators can be either male or female and can nominate as many deserving women as they would like. All nominators must commit to making sure there are at least 20 people in attendance, including friends, family members and colleagues of the award winner, at the awards reception to help their nominee receive recognition.

"It takes some effort to put together a nomination for a deserving award candidate," Patti Samar, editor and publisher of Blue Water Woman, said in a press release. "I have done so, myself, a number of times throughout my professional career, so I know and understand the time commitment involved in writing the nomination."

"However, it has been ever-so-gratifying when the people I have nominated for similar awards over the years were, in fact, selected as award recipients," she added. "It is always so nice to see deserving people recognized by their communities."

A distinguished panel of impartial judges from the Upper Peninsula will serve as the award selection committee. Those selected for awards will be notified by Blue Water Woman in early January. All will be featured in a story in the spring 2019 issue of the magazine.

Nomination forms can be found online at

— Emily Pauling, The Voice

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