(DEARBORN, Mich., June 1, 2015) — The
SME Education Foundation is pleased to announce it has awarded its 2015
Outstanding Partner honors to Ford Motor Co. and Kelly Burr of the Shop Rat
The SME Education Foundation is recognizing Ford as its 2015
Outstanding Corporate Partner for its support over more than 20 years, with
cumulative charitable donations exceeding $1 million. Kelly Burr is
executive director of the Shop Rat Foundation and is receiving the individual
award for her leadership in directing hands-on learning activities for youth involving
STEM concepts, with a focus on manufacturing. This annual honor is given to
companies and individuals that support the SME Education Foundation’s mission
to inspire, prepare and support the next generation of manufacturing workforce.
“For more than 30 years, the SME Education Foundation has
supported the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists, but
it requires the support from organizations like Ford and leaders like Kelly to
truly make a difference in attracting and preparing these students,” said Brian
Ruestow, president of the SME Education Foundation. “The Foundation depends on
industry partners to broaden our reach and funding — and these organizations
have truly impacted the future of manufacturing through their generous
Ford and its corporate foundation have provided the SME
Education Foundation with funds for STEM scholarships for postsecondary
students across the U.S. Additionally, Mike Schmidt, director of Education and
Community Development for the Ford Motor Company Fund, serves on the SME
Education Foundation Board of Directors.
“It’s an incredible
honor to receive this award, which reflects the powerful, long-term partnership
between Ford Motor Co. and the SME Education Foundation,” Schmidt said. “Working
together, we empower students, teachers, schools, and communities to create and
scale innovative educational programs and initiatives.”
The Shop Rat Foundation annually serves approximately 3,000
students in grades 6 to 12 by providing educational programs designed to
prepare them for manufacturing careers. It offers year-round programming to
students in Jackson, Lenawee and Ingham counties in Michigan. As executive
director, Burr has demonstrated her passion for working
with youth and implementing unique opportunities for their development and
success. Through her leadership, the Shop Rat Foundation has enhanced its manufacturing
education programs and expanded the range of summer workshop activities for
The SME Education Foundation recognized Ford and Burr at the
annual SME Award Breakfast June 1. It has given its Outstanding Partner award to
individuals and companies since 2008.
About the SME Education Foundation
The SME Education Foundation is committed to
inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing
engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education.
Created by SME in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $33
million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships
with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors. Visit the
SME Education Foundation at smeef.org. Follow @mfgeducation on Twitter or facebook.com/SME.Education.Foundation.
SME connects all those who are passionate about
making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has
served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across
the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas
of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education
Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by
addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or facebook.com/SMEmfg.
About the Ford Motor
Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with
community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. The
Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing
funding from Ford Motor Co. Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers
through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education
is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide
college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps,
more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that
better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit community.ford.com.
About the Shop Rat
The Shop Rat Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a
mission to ignite interest in manufacturing careers among our nation’s youth,
through development of innovative educational tools, curriculum and outreach
programs and in partnerships with schools, community groups, companies and
industry associations. Learn more at shoprat.org.
If you have questions about the press release or need additional information, please contact SME Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.