Original Press Release
The Future is No Longer on the Horizon - It's Here!
Press release date: February 8, 2010
The SME Education Foundation's investment in STEM education includes enhancing the image of manufacturing, creating new manufacturing centers, funding scholarships, and a new program in advanced manufacturing.
DEARBORN, Mich., - Planning for the future has paid off for the SME Education Foundation as it celebrates thirty years of collaboration with industry and academic partners in furthering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. This year, the Foundation will be announcing major investments in manufacturing centers at high schools around the country, scholarships for high-achieving students, and addressing the tattered image of manufacturing with a campaign focused on young people in grades 11-14 for careers in advanced manufacturing.
In a recent report, "A Framework for Revitalizing American Manufacturing," issued by the Office of the President, the importance of STEM education is reinforced. "A skilled, well-trained workforce is essential to improving the productivity of the manufacturing sector and raising living standards for its workers. New manufacturing process technologies, advanced materials, the demand for new and innovative products, and the growing need for manufacturers to utilize sustainable and green business practices, all require a manufacturing workforce with an increasingly advanced set of skills and competencies."
As the global economy consumes our technological talent, the lack of a sufficiently trained skilled workforce becomes increasingly evident as emerging technologies expand with advancements in biotechnology, wind power, nanotechnology, aerospace, and next generation automobiles. This year, the SME Education Foundation will also increase the number of technology-based youth programs it offers through Project Lead The Way.
The existence of the Foundation and the wealth of its educational resources have been well-planned. After WW II, in 1945, America led the world in technological innovation. However, by 1979, American innovation was no longer soaring and annual increases in productivity had fallen behind most of the industrialized world. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) responded to this critical loss with a $1 million investment to create the SME Education Foundation and reverse the decline. Ralph E. Cross, a visionary manufacturing leader, was named its first president.
Cross, who was also an alumnus of MIT and later known as the father of automation, persuaded his friends, industry and academic leaders, to join his new board of directors. General Motors Corporation president and COO, E. M. (Pete) Estes didn't hesitate to throw his hat in the ring, and neither did The Boeing Corporation's president, Malcolm T. Stamper, Caterpillar Company's president and COO, Robert E. Gilmore, Producto Machine Company's Philip R. Marsilius,
Boston University's Merrill L. Ebner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (M.I.T.) Dean of Engineering, Robert C. Seamans, Westinghouse Electric Corporation's Donald C. Burnham, or Indiana University-Purdue University's Warren W. Worthley.
The new board leveraged their positions in reaching industry and academic leaders and asked for greater commitment to funding programs in manufacturing engineering and engineering technology. In an effort to attract the best and brightest students, the new board funded new programs in manufacturing and provided equipment to colleges and universities.
Today, the legacy of these men and their organizations, and of those that followed, created a domino effect which has allowed the SME Education Foundation to fund more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, foundations, and individual donors.
The SME Education Foundation, the number one influencer of manufacturing education, celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year. For information on providing tax-deductible financial support to its academic and industry programs, or to the sponsored, invitation-only 30th Anniversary event, please visit www.smeef.org.
About the SME Education Foundation:
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at www.smeef.org and award-winning Web site, manufacturingiscool.com.