Rob Luce, vice president of the SME Education Foundation, was featured in a Quality Magazine article about the COVID-19 virus disrupting businesses worldwide and how training employees presents new challenges. Luce weighed in on the struggle within industry to find talent with soft skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Industry knows that the current — and looming larger, the future — lack of skilled and prepared employees is severe. This skills gap could lead to a shortage of as many as 2.4 million manufacturing workers in the next decade. Our challenge remains the same, and our education and industry partners share that challenge: How can we attract, interest — and then inspire young people to explore the opportunities being offered?
Receiving an SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship in 2018 meant a lot to Emily Redekopp, a mechanical engineering student who’s in her junior year at South Dakota State University. Engineering is in Redekopp’s family — her father is a mechanical engineer. But she has also always had a great interest in STEM subjects, which led her to participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition as a high school student.
SME and the SME Education Foundation are mourning with great sadness the passing of the SME Education Foundation Board President, Dr. Irving P. McPhail. In his career, Dr. McPhail made outstanding and unforgettable contributions to the advancement of manufacturing and education. His service to the SME Education Foundation was marked by great passion for manufacturing education, deep commitment to broadening opportunities in this industry for all communities, and a sincere belief in the mission of the Foundation to inspire and support talented young people from all backgrounds.
In the wake of COVID-19, educators at Pine Bush High School and Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD) — both of which are part of SME’s PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) program — have taken creative approaches to learning. Pine Bush High School students returned to school virtually in early September. At Saginaw ISD in Michigan, the back-to-school experience in Fall 2020 includes a combination of remote, hybrid and face-to-face learning, including Tooling U-SME online coursework.
Jeremy Kaszycki used his ambition, tenacity and a two-year SME Education Foundation scholarship to help change his life, transforming him from a high school student undecided about his future to an assembly process engineer at Magna International, a Tier One automotive supplier.
The SME Education Foundation has awarded 244 scholarships to young men and women pursuing a postsecondary education in manufacturing, engineering or related technologies.
Cedar Falls High School (CFHS) has accrued many benefits from the SME Education Foundation’s PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) initiative since being accepted into the program in 2013 that has led the school to become a STEM leader in their region.
In the wake of coronavirus, school closings and “stay-at-home” mandates have upended the educational experience for students across the country. This singular moment reinforces the opportunities that exist for innovation in education via technology adoption. As it relates to the SME Education Foundation, online education is certainly relevant to the work we do with our SME PRIME program.
In the first phase of a new partnership between the Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD) and the SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) initiative, the ISD will receive new manufacturing equipment while instructors at seven high schools receive virtual and on-site professional development.