Recipients to be named in spring
RICHMOND, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2016) — A partnership between Eastern Kentucky University, Murakami Manufacturing and Taylor County Schools will provide a $1,000 annual scholarship and paid internship to help two graduates from Taylor County Schools attend and graduate from EKU’s applied engineering management program.
EKU will match the $1,000 scholarship provided by Murakami, a Tier 1 automotive supplier in Campbellsville. The intent is to prepare the Murakami Scholars for possible full-time employment in an engineering position upon graduation.
The idea was born when EKU President Michael Benson received a LinkedIn message from Murakami USA President Michael Rodenberg, who said it was becoming increasingly difficult to attract local talent in rural Kentucky. A subsequent cell phone conversation between Benson and College of Business and Technology Dean Thomas Erekson evolved into an opportunity to leverage home-grown experts, which eventually led to the “Murakami Model.”
“Given the strong family ties in Kentucky, we developed a collaboration of attracting and developing local talent,” Erekson said. “Because of the work experience, the value of this scholarship can be $25,000 to $35,000 overall.”
Taylor County Schools will promote the program and assist in the selection of the two Murakami Scholars. Emphasis will be placed on strong college prep, especially in STEM areas.
Initially, rising seniors will be targeted with the scholarship opportunity, but graduating seniors are also eligible. Murakami and EKU plan to name the first two Murakami Scholars by the end of the Spring 2017 semester.