Diversity in Action magazine featured the SME Education Foundation’s efforts to reach more students from underrepresented groups and provide them with opportunities to pursue careers in the manufacturing industry. The Foundation’s efforts face tough headwinds, though, as perception issues continue to hamper efforts to attract young people to manufacturing. One way that the Foundation influences more diverse students to consider manufacturing as a career choice is through scholarships.
“The need to increase diversity in the industry can be achieved in part, I think, by increasing the number of students from a diverse background that are pursuing careers in manufacturing or engineering,” Said SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce.
Each year the SME Education Foundation awards $2 million in scholarships to hundreds of students across the country. The Foundation took steps in 2019 to increase awareness of scholarships by hosting the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society at a workshop. The workshop fostered ideas and provided a collaborative environment to work together to better diversify the manufacturing talent pool and improve application rates for the Foundation’s scholarships.
“Any industry, whether it’s manufacturing or another, is only as strong as the talent that it has. There’s obviously an interest in ensuring that the manufacturing industry in this county has an educated and inspired workforce.”