This is the second in a series of two blogs focused on manufacturing misperceptions, Industry 4.0 and the next generation of manufacturers.
The SME Education Foundation awarded 222 scholarships totaling nearly $550,000 to graduating high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students currently or planning to attend colleges, universities across the United States and Canada.
The SME Education Foundation supports the Additive Manufacturing Competition and Tooling U-SME’s Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification exam at the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky by providing scholarships to the high school winners of the contest.
Manufacturing is not dirty. Manufacturing is high-tech. Manufacturing pays wells and leads to prosperous careers. Manufacturing is thriving in the United States. How can we change misperceptions about manufacturing? We can counter each statement with facts.
A decades-long national bias against vocational careers continues to inform high school graduates that four-year college degrees are the only option for achieving success. Government data tells us otherwise. There are millions jobs in the United States that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
Perception issues cause plentiful, high-paying jobs — including manufacturing jobs — that require shorter, less-expensive training, to remain unfilled. Programs like SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) aim to address skilled trade shortages by offering tailored curriculum and hands-on training with modern equipment.