Success Stories

Every day at the SME Education Foundation we work to inspire, prepare and support an advanced manufacturing workforce through education. We focus on fostering and providing young people with a path to explore, learn and grow into careers within the manufacturing industry through our two initiatives, Scholarships and SME PRIME.

We are proud of the success of each student we support with scholarship assistance or preparing them with critical technical and soft skills as they graduate our high school programs ready to enter the workforce. Following are success stories we’ve gathered from our scholarships alumni and the SME PRIME network of high schools.

Skills Gap Solution: Training the next manufacturing workforce

Skills Gap Solution: Training the next manufacturing workforce

Around 2 million manufacturing jobs will be left unfilled by 2025 if workers don’t adapt to new technologies and if the industry can’t find a way to replenish the skilled workers leaving in droves. A 2015 report from IACMI (Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation) found that currently, there are more manufacturing workers over 45 than under. The SME Education Foundation aims to solve the skills gap through our unique SME PRIME program. In 2017, Shape Corp. worked with the foundation to partner with Grand Haven High School in Grand Haven, Michigan to develop a pre-apprenticeship program where students can learn different aspect of manufacturing over a three-year period is just one example of we’re working to fill the manufacturing talent pool. “It is not a cookie-cutter curriculum, but rather custom built to meet the needs of the business and ultimately the community,” says Julie Davidson, director of talent acquisition at Shape Corp.


2014 E. Wayne Kay High School scholarship recipient gives back at annual Roboflight Academy

2014 E. Wayne Kay High School scholarship recipient gives back at annual Roboflight Academy

Portland State University graduate Julian Rogers, awarded one of our E. Wayne Kay High School scholarships in 2014, made news in Oregon for his involvement with Insitu’s RoboFlight Academy in Oregon. Rogers, who began working for Insitu upon graduation a few weeks ago, was the first student to graduate with a 4.0 cumulative GPA in every subject for the entire four years at Portland State in mechanical engineering. He also achieved a 4.0 GPA in all courses in the Honors College at PSU. During the RoboFlight Academy, he presented his thesis, which analyzes conventional wing design versus 3D-printed wing design.


Diving Into My Manufacturing Education

Gregory Kurfess receives SME Education Foundation Scholarship

Greg Kurfess worked hard, applied himself and earned his scholarship. Now, he’s making the most of his opportunity and studying mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech.


How Hawthorne High School in California Manufactured Parts for NASA through SME PRIME

NASA's agency-wide HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program and the SME Education Foundation's Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) program partner to further expand the pipeline of skilled manufacturing talent in the U.S.