Dow and Last Mile Education Fund partner to invest in students pursuing careers in manufacturing

Program funding aims to support a more robust, diverse and readily available talent pipeline for U.S. manufacturing and skilled trades programs.

Midland, Mich. – January 10, 2023 – Today, Last Mile Education Fund and Dow (NYSE: DOW) announced a collaborative fund to invest in low-income students nearing completion of their manufacturing and skilled trades programs at institutions in Dow communities.

The Dow Last Mile Fund for Manufacturing & Skilled Trades aims to create a more robust, diverse and readily available technical talent pipeline. The project will start in 2023 in select Dow communities:

  • Louisiana – St. Charles; St. James; and St. John’s parishes
  • West Virginia – Kanawha County (Charleston, South Charleston, Institute and Nitro)
  • Texas – Orange and Port Arthur
  • Kentucky – Carrolton

“Manufacturing is critical to the United States economy. The sector contributes $2.77 trillion annually to the national economy and employs close to 13 million people,” said Bob Plishka, global director of Strategic Corporate Partnerships and Dow Company Foundation president. “And today, there are approximately 750,000 job openings in the manufacturing industry. By partnering with the Last Mile Education Fund on this initiative, we hope to increase program completion for skilled trades workers and help ensure a diverse pipeline can succeed in high-earning manufacturing careers.”

The Dow Last Mile Fund for Manufacturing & Skilled Trades provides rapid access to mini, bridge and larger grants – up to $5,000 – during the “last mile” of a student’s program in an effort to prevent dropouts when they most commonly occur, allowing students to finish their education. Students will be eligible during their last two semesters of study, typically when they require the most support.

“We are excited to collaborate with Dow to expand the Last Mile investment model to the manufacturing sector. There are abundant jobs waiting for these graduates and financial hurdles should not be a barrier to accessing them,” shared Ruthe Farmer, founder and CEO of the Last Mile Education Fund.

Grants are available beginning today, January 10, at

About Last Mile Education Fund
Last Mile Education Fund ( offers a disruptive approach to social inequity and increasing diversity in technology by addressing critical funding gaps for low-income, underrepresented students within reach of a degree. Last Mile takes an abundance approach, investing in students demonstrating a commitment to a technical degree, providing agile, just-in-time support for challenges they face beyond their control, and incubating them to be the next generation of innovators—because sometimes the last dollar invested is the most important of all. Since 2020, Last Mile has awarded over 2,900 grants. Last Mile grantees are 32% Black, 25% Hispanic, 16% Asian, 15% White, and 3% Indigenous.

About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership to achieve profitable growth and deliver a sustainable future. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates 104 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $55 billion in 2021. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

For further information, please contact:

Jess MacDonald

Andrea Thomas