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As the philanthropic arm of SME, the SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares, and supports the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. Established in 1979, the Foundation works to expose youth to modern manufacturing technologies, train students on relevant manufacturing processes, and award millions of dollars in scholarships annually. All Foundation programming seeks to empower youth to consider and pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering and increase engagement with historically underrepresented populations to help diversify the manufacturing industry. We continue to inspire, prepare and support the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent – now as many as 10,000 students every year.


Distinct Programs


Students Served


Distributed Since 2019

Preparing the Next Generation Workforce

Two million manufacturing jobs need to be filled by 2030. SME Education Foundation is the response to this challenge.

Our Programs in Action

We Prepare

We Inspire

Hosted alongside SME conferences and events, SME Bright Minds Student Summits showcase the high-tech nature of modern manufacturing and promote the industry as an exciting, growing, and lucrative career path to high school students and educators – delivering insightful programming that features guided show-floor tours, technology demonstrations, and keynote speakers. SME Bright Minds Student Summits provide a platform for manufacturers to engage with the next generation of talent.
We inspire

We Prepare

SME PRIME® partners private industry with academia to build custom manufacturing and engineering programs in high schools across the country, providing equipment, curriculum, teacher training, student scholarships, and funding for extra-curricular activities and program sustainability. SME PRIME is tailored to meet the needs of local manufacturers and is aligned with over 30 industry recognized certifications. SME PRIME is located in 110 schools across 23 states, serving 10,000 students, and 91% of SME PRIME seniors pursue manufacturing post-graduation.
We Support

We Support

The SME Education Foundation scholarship program awards millions of dollars to hundreds of graduating high school seniors and current college students across the country. With more than 60 distinct programs, the Foundation provides merit and need-based scholarships, issues renewing and one-time awards, and seeks applications from all eligible students, including but not limited to young women and other underrepresented communities. Since 2005, the Foundation has awarded 18 million to over 5,000 future industry leaders.

Make an Impact

Your support provides a life-changing opportunity and will shape the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. Please consider an investment in manufacturing’s future and explore various ways to give here.

Recent Program Stories

Georgia High Schools Benefit From Implementation of SME PRIME

Manufacturing and engineering students at Georgia’s Bryan County High School (BCHS) and Monroe High School (MHS) are reaping the benefits of new, advanced manufacturing technology and training opportunities that have been provided by the SME Education Foundation’s SME PRIME® (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) initiative since the Georgia Department of Education partnered with the Foundation in early 2023.

Read Annual Report

2023 was a record year for the SME Education Foundation as Bright Minds Student Summits, SME PRIME, and the Scholarship program delivered impressive results.

Recent Program Announcements

SME, Stratasys Announce Winners of 2024 SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition

SME, the nonprofit association committed to advancing the widespread adoption of manufacturing technologies and developing North America’s talent and capabilities, and global additive manufacturing leader Stratasys, announced the winners of their cosponsored 2024 Additive Manufacturing Competition, conducted as part of the 60th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, held in Atlanta June 24-28.

Expertise Freely Shared Yields Additive Effects on Student Success

The 𝐒𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬𝐔𝐒𝐀 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬, part of the National Leadership & Skills Conference, showcase top talents from 6,000 U.S. students in over 100 competitions in partnership with the SME Education Foundation. This event highlights the skill, leadership, and massive collaborative effort.

Make A Donation

Help us Inspire, Prepare and Support the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. We have many donations opportunities for you get involved and make a difference.