IQAir North America has funded through the SME Education Foundation new scholarship support for STEM education opportunities for underrepresented students.
The scholarships, to be administered by the SME Education Foundation for IQAir North America, an international environmental technology company focused on air quality monitoring and air cleaning products, make $130,000 available over five years to qualified and deserving students. IQAir North America is based in California.
“These scholarships are our opportunity to assist students who are historically underrepresented in STEM related careers," said Glory Dolphin-Hammes, CEO of IQAir North America. “Workplaces are stronger with a workforce of diverse opinions and life experiences. Our goal is to help provide financial assistance to those with diverse backgrounds who have the who have the skills, aptitude and drive to achieve but lack the resources.”
The IQAir Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship awards to deserving students began this year.
“The Foundation is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our portfolio of initiatives to prepare and support students in their pursuit of educational and career opportunities,” said Rob Luce, vice president of the SME Education Foundation. “Through expanded outreach, partnerships like this important collaboration with IQAir, and the leadership of our diverse and accomplished board, we are making a difference and improving the availability of opportunity.”
This year, the SME Education Foundation awarded a record number of scholarships to women and/or minorities as part of a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. Scholarship awards to female students nearly doubled, and scholarships to minority students and minority female students nearly tripled and quadrupled, respectively, over Foundation historical averages.
The IQAir Diversity and inclusion Scholarships are an important step in progressing toward solving manufacturing’s well-documented and increasing skills gap.“That gap is reflective of a social and economic gap in underrepresented communities,” says Dolphin-Hammes. “It’s our responsibility and a strategic imperative to provide education and skills training opportunities: We’re proud of this initiative.”