Manufacturers, communities, educators, students and parents can all benefit from participating in Manufacturing Day: Last year, more than 80% of students said they became more convinced that manufacturing provides interesting and rewarding careers after attending these events.
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170 high school students from 11 schools descended upon the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts from May 14-16 eager to explore and discover manufacturing career opportunities at the SME Education Foundation’s Student Summit event series at EASTEC.
Julian Rogers earned a 2014 E. Wayne Kay Scholarship with his determination and drive to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree. Today, he’s applying his engineering skills to his work with drone company Insitu.
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.
Kouts High School from a small, close-knit community near Valparaiso, Indiana, came out ahead and won the manufacturing competition at the 2019 FABTECH Student Summit. The SME Education Foundation Student Summit event series is one solution that through student-centric programming, effectively addresses the misperception often held by young people that manufacturing is dull, dirty and dying.
Scholarships can mean much more than financial support, says Kyle Riegel, recipient of the 2008 SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship. Kyle is a field sales engineer with Schunk Carbon Technology in Iowa. A 2008 graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Kyle currently serves on their engineering board.
Anna Hiszpanski has made a name for herself as a research scientist in the materials science division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, but she’s never forgotten the help she got along the way — including the SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship, which she used for her undergraduate studies at Caltech.
Career and technical education students at SME PRIME® high schools in Michigan, Illinois, and New York have experienced firsthand the importance of manufacturing to our nation and the world — and how their classroom studies and hands-on lab work relate to real-world challenges, and can even save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
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?