SME’s HOUSTEX 2015 Student Summit to Educate and Engage the Next Generation of Manufacturing Professionals

(DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 19, 2015) – The next decade is expected to bring a potential shortfall of 875,000 machinists, welders, industrial-machinery mechanics and industrial engineers1. And, SME’s HOUSTEX 2015 is taking action to tackle worker shortages. HOUSTEX, which takes place from Feb. 24 to 26 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, will host a Student Summit for Houston-area high schools on the event’s final day, Feb. 26, to highlight manufacturing career opportunities and showcase the high-tech workforce needs.
Presented by the SME Education Foundation, in partnership with members from SME’s Houston Chapter 29, the Student Summit will provide students access to new innovations in manufacturing technology and the opportunity to engage with industry experts. The Summit will highlight the transformation manufacturing is going through and show students the exciting and challenging jobs available today.

“The Student Summit is an excellent platform for the next-generation workforce to meet the region’s many manufacturing companies that are actively looking to engage the students of today to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Pam Hurt, senior manager, SME Education Foundation. “There are so many career opportunities in manufacturing right now, with a vital need to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years. These students will be able to network with industry experts who can help them take their STEM education and put it into practice with rewarding careers in manufacturing.”
Manufacturing is especially important for the region. According to the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston has been ranked number one nationally for eight consecutive years in industrial employment and manufacturing currently employs more than a quarter million people in the region.
Students will also have the opportunity to tour the show floor to see, listen and touch all that HOUSTEX has to offer. Students and HOUSTEX attendees will be surrounded by 105,000 square-feet of new technologies, major manufacturers and more than 90 new product introductions.

The Student Summit will conclude with students competing in a virtual wind turbine challenge. They will be able to pick their wind turbine’s blade length, height, angle and number of blades, watch as it is 3D printed and test its revolutions per minute (RPM). The winning students will receive a wind turbine test stand for their school valued at over $600.
Houston area high schools and local manufacturers that would like to learn more about this educational opportunity or get involved in the HOUSTEX 2015 Student Summit can contact SME’s Moria Menke, at

1Made in America Again, The U.S. Skills Gap, Could it Threaten a Manufacturing Renaissance?, The Boston Consulting Group, August 2013.

HOUSTEX, produced by SME, is dedicated to displaying the customized technologies and processes that help manufacturers become more efficient and innovative. Featuring hundreds of exhibitors, the show floor will feature the latest products and services designed to help manufacturers meet the demand for better quality, tighter tolerances and lower cost in several key industries. The Heart of Manufacturing is this year’s theme, showcasing the importance of Texas as one of the largest manufacturing markets in the country and a key contributor to the critical oil and gas industry. Follow @houstex on Twitter or

About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or

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