In Kettering's name

May 28, 2009

Armen Oumedian '49 presented a gift in Kettering University's name to Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes to teach children about careers in high-growth sectors.

One of Kettering University’s most cherished alumni and friends, Armen Oumedian’49, has made a gift in the University’s name that will teach children about careers in high-growth sectors.  Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes launched the newly revised Our Nation program for West Michigan youth on May 26.  

JA received a founding donation of $20,000 to seed fundraising efforts for the program for the 2009-10 school year.  Our Nation helps students identify career interests and was recently revised, through funding from United Technologies Corporation, to incorporate information about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries.

The initial funding commitment was provided on behalf of Kettering University through the generosity of Oumedian, a Grand Rapids businessman and 1949 graduate of Kettering/GMI.

“JA’s Our Nation program is important because it focuses on the skills that will drive the future of American business,” said Bill Coderre, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes.  “Mr. Oumedian’s, generous gift is the first of many required to implement our plan of delivering the Our Nation program in more than 240 classes reaching more than 5,500 students in West Michigan this next school year.”

“We are pleased to be connected to such a program by one of our distinguished alumni,” said Bob Nichols, director of external affairs at Kettering University.  “Kettering and Junior Achievement share similar goals of using applied education in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics fields to prepare and inspire students to become life-long learners and to make significant contributions to their profession, their communities and society.”

U.S. Department of Labor projections indicate 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs require education beyond high school, and nearly half of these high-growth jobs are in fields related to Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics.

Our Nation helps students understand, through hands-on activities, the interdependence fostered by globalization.  The program aligns with JA’s strong focus on providing students with important work readiness skills, such as leadership, problem-solving and teamwork.  Our Nation teaches students the value of these high-growth job skills in U.S. business and entrepreneurial endeavors by integrating historical and modern-day inventions and innovations from an entrepreneurial perspective.

Junior Achievement programs are delivered in the classroom by volunteers from the community who provide career guidance and mentoring to youth.  Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes currently reaches 56,000 students in West Michigan annually.

For more information, or to contribute to the Our Nation program, please contact Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes at 616-575-9080 extension 227, or visit JA at

About Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Inc.

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes is a strong local area office of JA Worldwide, the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.  Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes is the 21st largest JA Chapter in the US and innovated the JA Reverse Job Shadow program now used nationally and recently applied this program to an industry focus with the nation’s first Manufacturing focused JA Reverse Job Shadow in March 2009.  The organization offers programs to help prepare young people in West Michigan for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.  Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.  Visit for more information.

About Kettering University

Kettering University in Flint, Mich., is the country's most advanced professional cooperative education program, delivering co-op jobs and up to $65,000 in co-op wages to 100 percent of its undergraduates. Founded in 1919, Kettering is built on a tradition of cooperative education and the preparation of future leaders for a global society. Kettering ranks consistently among the top specialty schools in engineering in the nation by “U.S. News & World Report” in the category of undergraduate engineering programs without a Ph.D.   The University also is consistently ranked as a “Best Midwestern College.”

To learn more about Kettering, visit, or call (800) 955-4464.

Written by Patricia Mroczek and JA sources