With over 85 area high school students participating in the 2017-2018 Project G.R.I.L.L. program there will be no lack of creativity or innovation on display at the 10th annual Unveiling event scheduled for Friday, May 11. The public is encouraged to attend this free event taking place in the parking lot of Festival Foods (1125 E Johnson Street, Fond du Lac) from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Stop out to grab lunch from the brat barn and check out the hand crafted grills on display, entirely designed and fabricated by area high school students. All proceeds from the brat fry will benefit the Project G.R.I.L.L. program for years to come.

This year, the program celebrates 10 years in the greater Fond du Lac area with a continued successful impact on our local manufacturing workforce. Project G.R.I.L.L. is an educational experience that pairs students in technical education classes from area high schools with local manufacturers to design and build functional grills from scratch. During the nine month journey, students learn all facets associated with building a product, from concept through production. The students also tour the nine participating manufacturing businesses to learn first-hand about local career opportunities. The program strives to develop a strong future workforce by positively showcasing careers in manufacturing and exposing students to a wide variety of valuable skill sets. Skills learned throughout the process include welding, use of computer-aided design (CAD) software, project management and problem solving, to name a few.

The Project G.R.I.L.L. Unveiling event is the culmination of the program and this May there will be eight unique grills on display.  A “Best of Show” award will be handed out to the most creative and best built grill. Student team captains along with representatives from each participating manufacturing business will evaluate the grill designs to determine the Best of Show recipient.

The eight school-manufacturer partnerships for 2017-2018 are:

  • Campbellsport High School & Agromatic Inc.
  • Fond du Lac High School & Manowske Welding Corp.
  • Horace Mann High School & J.F. Ahern Company
  • Laconia High School & Fives Giddings & Lewis
  • Lomira High School & Mercury Marine
  • Oakfield High School & Kondex Corp.
  • Ripon High School & Mid-States Aluminum Corp.
  • Winnebago Lutheran Academy & Sadoff Iron & Metal Company


Project G.R.I.L.L stands for Growing Readiness in Learning and Leading and is an initiative of Fond du Lac Works, a program of Envision Greater Fond du Lac. More information about Project G.R.I.L.L. is available online at www.fdlworks.com or by calling Envision Greater Fond du Lac at (920) 921-9500.

The mission of Fond du Lac Works is to recruit, retain and develop a quality workforce.  This mission is, in large part, to help better address the looming skilled labor shortage facing our area. Developing a skill labor pool needed by area business and industry is critical for the future success of our community.  Reaching this goal begins with students currently in the K-12 pipeline.  By engaging students of all ages, the next generation will be better prepared to attend a post-secondary institution that aligns with a career interest and ultimately increase the percentage of students that graduate with a degree needed by area businesses and industry.  For more information, visit www.fdlworks.com.