zdi stands for “Future through Innovation NRW” and is the largest joint initiative by the state, schools, universities and companies to get young people interested in technical and scientific courses of study and careers. Throughout the state, zdi is coordinated by the NRW Ministry of Science. Other statewide partners include the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Economics and the Regional Directorate NRW of the Federal Employment Agency. The aim of the zdi center in Mönchengladbach is to build a bridge between schools, via studies and training, to industry. Pupils are given an insight into training and study opportunities related to STEM subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology). In courses, students work in a practice-oriented manner and receive tips on choosing a career.
For this reason, WFMG launched the zdi Center Mönchengladbach in 2009, together with stakeholders from business and the school landscape. The MGconnect team of WFMG took over the coordination of all activities in 2012. Since 2013, the Ausbildungsverbund Mönchengladbach (Mönchengladbach Training Association) has been a workshop partner of the Mönchengladbach zdi center, and since 2014, the Mönchengladbach Metal and Electrical Employers’ Association (Unternehmerschaft Metall und Elektro zu Mönchengladbach e.V.) and 18 other partners from the business community have supported the Mönchengladbach zdi center. Together, they make STEM subjects fun for schoolchildren. In addition to zdi partner companies, the zdi center Mönchengladbach cooperates with numerous zdi partner schools from Mönchengladbach and the surrounding area.