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Manufacturing Mentoring Program Part of President Obama's Plan for High-Skilled Workers

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The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Heads Collaboration to Mentor High School and College Students

DEARBORN, Mich., June 8, 2011 — Today, the White House hosted an event focused on building the educated and skilled workforce U.S. manufacturers need to successfully compete in the 21st century economy.

President Obama outlined seven programs to support the goal of providing 500,000 more skilled workers for the manufacturing industry within the next five years. Mentoring high school and college students is one of the ways this will be accomplished.

"Last year, we launched Skills for America's Future to bring together companies and community colleges around a simple idea: making it easier for workers to gain new skills will make America more competitive in the global economy. Today, we are announcing a number of partnerships that will help us make this a reality, by opening doors to new jobs for workers, and helping employers find the trained people they need to compete against companies around the world," said President Barack Obama.

To view the White House press release, click here.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the SME Education Foundation, is partnering with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, the National Academy Foundation and General Dynamics – Ordnance and Tactical Systems, to provide more than 1,000 mentorships every year for the next five years, continuing their long tradition of mentoring high school and college students, teachers, counselors and administrators on the requirements for a career in the high-skilled, high-tech environment of the 21st century manufacturing plant.

"This is about leveraging the knowledge of the current workforce to ensure a strong industrial base for years to come," said Mark Tomlinson, executive director/CEO of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. "Professionals who are passionate about making things can share their enthusiasm with the next generation. That's how to engage them — get the kids hooked on the thrill of seeing an idea become a reality."

As a founding partner in the Manufacturing Institute's NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System, SME will also play a role in the White House's strategy to credential 500,000 community college students with skills certifications aligned to manufacturers' hiring needs.

"Certifications based on industry needs is a win-win for the worker and the employer," said Tomlinson. "With credentials from the Skills Certification System, a worker can be confident that she has the skills in demand, and the employer will have verification that the potential employee has the skills he claims."

Manufacturing professionals who would like to mentor a next-generation skilled worker may contact mentoring@sme.org.

About SME:

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events, magazines, publications and online training division, Tooling U, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technologies and to the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of chapters and technical communities. A 501(c)3 organization, SME is a leader in manufacturing workforce development issues, working with industry, academic and government partners to support the current and future skilled workforce.

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If you have questions about the press release or need additional information, please contact SME Public Relations at communications@sme.org.