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Forward Bank Pledges $24,000 to Pirate Ship Productions in Gilman

Forward Bank recently pledged $24,000 toward the Gilman School District Pirate Ship Productions for the purchase of two plasma CNC machines. The balance of the $32,000 needed for the equipment is being requested from community members and businesses likely to benefit from the newly- trained students.

In 2019, Pirate Ship Productions was established at Gilman High School. The purpose of this student-run business is to establish manufacturing skills through wood working and metal working. Together, tech ed and business classes are working together to learn all aspects of running a small business. Students develop, produce, market, and sell hand-crafted products to individuals and businesses in Gilman and the surrounding areas. The items we designed and sold include cutting boards, etched glass, etc.

Also, in 2019, Pirate Ship Productions partnered with Artisans in Glen Flora. The school received donated equipment that will allow them to create, market, and sell apparel.

All profits earned by Pirate Ship Productions will be given back to the students in the form of scholarships. Students will not be paid directly for their contributions to these classes. They will receive school credit and will be eligible to receive a scholarship if profits warrant. We have a goal of providing 15 scholarships of $10,000 annually to junior and senior high school students.

“Supporting programs through our schools that build our future workforce is vital to the ongoing success of our communities,” commented Bill Sennholz, president & CEO of Forward Bank. “Pirate Ship Productions not only develops hands on skills helpful for joining local companies, it fosters business proficiencies that are extremely helpful regardless of the industry students move in to.”