We’re in This Together!

Welcome to SME Education Foundation – an organization dedicated to building the future of manufacturing! You likely found us for one of four reasons:

  1. You believe in manufacturing and its effect on our economy.
  2. You are a manufacturer that has a need to fill the pipeline of your workforce, and want an education partner to help you do so.
  3. You are a student looking for resources to fund your technical or post-high school manufacturing education.
  4. You are a potential donor looking to invest in young people and/or programs focused on manufacturing and education.

These are all great reasons to get to know or further your understanding of the SME Education Foundation! They also represent reasons why many of us choose to spend our precious volunteer hours supporting this respected organization.

I’m humbled to serve as the Foundation’s president – an organization with whom I’ve been affiliated as a trusted advisor, board member and donor for more than 15 years. Admittedly, I may not appear to fit the professional profile of most of my prestigious predecessors. Though not an engineer or science educator, I have helped organizations communicate to these audiences, attract young people to manufacturing careers, and improve the image of manufacturing. 

We have made tremendous progress as an organization focused on inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists. We do this by providing grants, scholarships and awards through partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors. Let me share some recent highlights:

  1. Established 40 Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) schools in 22 states since 2011
  2. Impacted over 40,000 high school students cumulatively in our PRIME schools
  3. Awarded more than $2 million in scholarships in 2016 to nearly 600 students
  4. Administered more than 350 scholarships on behalf of corporations last year
  5. Awarded 255 endowed scholarships totaling nearly $600,000 in 2016 to 244 students

If you have aspirations to join the exciting world of manufacturing; teach and prepare students for manufacturing careers; contribute to programs and scholarships that will educate the engineers and technologists of the future; and/or have a keen interest in retaining a robust manufacturing industry in the United States, I welcome you to learn more about the Foundation. Please contact me, the Foundation staff or fellow board members who, like you, are committed to fueling the people and programs targeting our nation’s future innovators and problem-solvers. 



Kathy Burnham
President, SME Education Foundation