Philanthropy News
Milwaukee Tool Builds Opportunities for Student Success’
Students use materials donated by Milwaukee Tool at the Illinois Tech Idea Shop
Photo By: Lauren Brennan

Milwaukee Tool Builds Opportunities for Student Success

By Brianne Meyer

This spring, Illinois Institute of Technology received two generous donations of power tools valued at nearly $100,000 from Milwaukee Tool, a long-standing partner of the university.

The gift-in-kind included a variety of tools to be divided among the Idea Shop, located inside of the state-of-the-art Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, Illinois Tech Motorsports, and various departments within Armour College of Engineering, including Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering laboratories.

The upgraded tools will help Illinois Tech students refine their skills and learn more about their craft, as well as offer them the opportunity to problem solve in a safe, collaborative environment and to deliver world-changing innovations with Milwaukee Tool products.

“Milwaukee Tool has unified the way we manage our handheld tools at Illinois Tech. Students are able to check out a battery when they enter the Idea Shop and use it to operate any Milwaukee tool they need to build their aircraft, electric vehicle, or new toy design. This type of hands-on learning experience helps to ignite ideas with cutting-edge tools and allows students to transform their new products and inventions into reality,” says Maryam Saleh, executive director of the Kaplan Institute.

Milwaukee Tool is the world’s fastest-growing designer, manufacturer, and marketer of power tools, accessories, and hand tools for the professional trades. The company prides itself in delivering disruptive innovation in every product it creates. And as a group of progressive problem solvers, Milwaukee Tool is committed to investing in the leaders of tomorrow, starting at Illinois Tech.

This ongoing collaboration with Milwaukee Tool is a tangible demonstration of Illinois Tech’s commitment to redefining access to a high-quality education. The university’s vision calls for a future where education and innovation are reimagined, breaking down the barriers of industry and institution; of classroom and practical experience. This approach is what drives the success of Illinois Tech graduates—creating newfound economic mobility, lifting students from families in the lowest 20 percent of income to the top 20 percent, and thus reshaping who can access the transformative power of a future-focused education.

“Milwaukee Tool recognizes how important advanced technologies and resources are to innovation,” says Omid Shirazi (M.S. EE ’08), senior manager of electrical engineering at Milwaukee Tool. “We hope students who have the opportunity to use our donated tools will find ways to refine their skills, continue to innovate, and discover what inspires them. If they do that, it’s an investment well made. The recent tool donation is also just one piece of the larger investment Milwaukee Tool is making on campus with Illinois Tech. We see great potential in these students and look forward to a continued partnership with Illinois Tech.”

In addition to this recent gift, Milwaukee Tool continues to provide internship opportunities through Illinois Tech’s one-of-a-kind Elevate program, which guarantees hands-on learning opportunities that give students the twenty-first century skills that employers seek.

Through Milwaukee Tool’s generosity, Illinois Tech is forging a pathway for student success and providing the necessary tools to support students from all walks of life to make the world a better, safer place.

“Because of our founding purpose to harness the power of collective difference to advance innovation for all, we hold singular value in this emerging world of twenty-first century technology,” says Ernie Iseminger, vice president for advancement at Illinois Tech. “We bring together different minds and encourage each to grow and develop individually, while also contributing to the greater good. And the end result is innovation that truly changes the course of human history. Partners like Milwaukee Tool empower the next generation of innovators who are transforming ideas that could change the world into breakthroughs that will change the world.”