The Don Wood Foundation and Ambassador Enterprises are partnering with TPMA to complete a comprehensive research study on the career and technical education (CTE) ecosystem in Allen County.

Career and technical education (CTE) connects high school students to hands-on and industry-specific training that prepares them for success in the workplace. The Don Wood Foundation and Ambassador Enterprises want to build upon already existing information to help provide a clear picture of regional activities. The goal is to understand what is working well in the county, where there are challenges and opportunities, and what the best initiatives may be in the future. The study will help identify and inform investment opportunities for both organizations.

“Our desired outcome is increased alignment in regional efforts to develop and support the best possible programming for students interested in filling the career and technical education pipeline, leading to rewarding and high-wage careers in northeast Indiana,” said Patrick Buesching, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Don Wood Foundation.



“We are confident that through nurturing robust relationships and strategically harnessing our resources, we can create pathways for students to excel in technical education, ultimately leading to prosperous careers in northeast Indiana. Ambassador Enterprises is actively spearheading initiatives like Grow Allen and supporting the Northeast Indiana Early Childcare Coalition, both of which share our commitment to empowering students, families, and our community,” expressed Sherry Grate, Senior Vice President of Community Impact at Ambassador Enterprises.



“Collaborating with The Don Wood Foundation and Ambassador Enterprises on this pivotal study underscores our commitment at TPMA to enhancing the CTE ecosystem in Allen County. We believe that by understanding the current landscape and identifying areas of opportunity, we can pave the way for a brighter future for Allen County’s students, educators, and employers. Our goal is to ensure that every student has access to the best possible technical education, setting them up for success in their chosen careers in northeast Indiana,” stated Nioka Clark, Project Lead at TPMA.

The study kicked off in September with a discovery phase, including a review of current data, plans, and resources. Input from key stakeholders is critical to the study’s success. TPMA anticipates a diverse set of stakeholders will be engaged through this process, including students, educators, and employers. The study will include an in-depth analysis of the CTE ecosystem across the county, with the final report expected in December. When completed, the study will be shared publicly so that all interested parties can benefit from the work.

About Ambassador Enterprises

With corporate headquarters in Northeast Indiana and affiliate companies across the U.S., Ambassador Enterprises invests in for-income and for-impact markets, pursuing financial, cultural, and eternal returns, resulting in better people, communities, and lives.  With a workforce exceeding 4,500 employees and annualized revenue surpassing $2 billion, Ambassador Enterprises remains steadfast in fostering a legacy of impact through relational investments defined by compassion and purpose. Our unwavering commitment to faith and values serves as a guiding light toward a brighter future for all.

About Don Wood Foundation

The Don Wood Foundation is a private foundation, established in 2018 by Don Wood, founder of 80/20, Inc., that serves and supports innovators, leaders, collaborators, and skilled workers with the potential to create and sustain opportunities in manufacturing. The Foundation partners with non-profits and educational institutions to provide sustained investment that supports the development of a diverse workforce through exposure, education, and training to create strong communities rooted in the advancement of manufacturing.