The Automation Alley Fund

The Automation Alley Fund was created to financially support economic development programs throughout the state of Michigan that aligns with our mission to fuel Michigan's economy and accelerate innovation for companies during a time of rapid technological change. As Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, Automation Alley, through the Fund, matches Michigan businesses with benefactors to support workforce training, upskilling and other business development initiatives to help position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0.

Support Michigan's Industry 4.0 Ecosystem Through the Automation Alley Fund

If you have the funds but lack the resources and connections to invest in Michigan's economic future, the Automation Alley Fund is a turnkey non-profit 501(c)3 organization here to help support your philanthropic mission.

By donating to the Automation Alley Fund, your gift will help accelerate new and existing workforce and business development programs aimed at:

  • Filling the open technology and advanced manufacturing jobs of today
  • Reskilling and upskilling the current workforce to keep pace with the speed of technological change
  • Providing companies with a better supply of qualified candidates by ensuring the talent pipeline is prepared for the jobs of tomorrow

Core Values:

The Automation Alley Fund is overseen by an independent board differentiated by the structure of being a business organization with a social impact and guided by the following Automation Alley core values: 

  • Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Taking Action
  • Collaboration
  • Working Hard
  • Customer-focused
  • Kindness

The Automation Alley Fund is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Your gift is tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law. 

To donate, contact Automation Alley Director of Operations Lisa Stief at


New Economy Initiative

New Economy Initiative (NEI) supports the Automation Alley Fund by sponsoring the Minority Business Enterprise Growth Program where Automation Alley Fund identifies minority/woman/veteran owned companies that are positioned for growth, specifically as it relates to Industry 4.0, and conducts Growth Assessments to produce strategy and processes necessary to grow identified manufacturers. Automation Alley Fund also sponsors representatives from minority/women/veteran owned companies to attend Automation Alley Industry 4.0 Events.

The NEXT Education

At The NEXT Education, we are committed to preparing industry workers, managers, and leaders through compelling real-world learning solutions that upskill and retain talent as needs shift. We understand the demand for educated leaders and skilled operators have increased alongside automation and connected technology integration. It has, therefore, become imperative to develop the next workforce equipped with the skills to advance global growth within Mobility, Autonomy, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Cyber Security. Our team includes global instructors who deliver the credentialing programs, certifications, and courses. We use an iterative, open-source approach in either a seminar-based classroom or online e-learning environment. Drawing upon their knowledge and first-hand, real-world experiences, our instructors infuse authentic and applicable expertise into their curriculum.

Penn Foster

We believe education is for everyone. At Penn Foster, we are dedicated to helping our students achieve their goals through affordable, accessible, career-focused learning. Our mission has remained the same for over 125 years: to provide knowledge that builds career growth and confidence on any budget, around any schedule.

Kenzie Academy

Kenzie Academy is a tech apprenticeship and coding school in Indianapolis, Indiana with a 6-month to 2-year program with 1-year paid apprenticeship, a new alternative to traditional colleges and short-term coding bootcamps. Students have the option of attending the program in person, or remotely via a Hybrid Program. Applying a new forward-thinking education model, including project-based learning, critical skills training and apprenticeship, Kenzie's mission is to develop a new talent pool and attract more technology jobs and opportunities in communities across the nation.

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