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Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy Testimonials

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"ACT commends the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) for its initiative addressing the manufacturing skills gap. SME's Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy includes high-impact recommendations aligned with ACT’s mission of increasing America’s global competitiveness. SME and ACT share a commitment to applying standardized assessments of core skills and knowledge and developing clear career pathways that benefit job seekers and employers alike. SME’s initiative demonstrates a vision that unites educators, industry, and government agencies in working toward a common goal of building our country’s 21st-century workforce." ~ Martin L. Scaglione, President, ACT, Workforce Development Division

"The Corporate Member Council of the American Society for Engineering Education endorses the recommendations in the SME white paper, Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy. They are key solutions to the development of the broad spectrum of engineering and technical workforce needed in industry that all educators, industry, professional organizations and government can work together to achieve." ~ Terri Morse, The Boeing Company, Chair, ASEE Corporate Member Council

"The American Society for Engineering Education’s Engineering Technology Council endorses all six recommendations from SME regarding manufacturing education and the impact on future competitiveness in the U.S. We strongly believe that graduates of our two and four year engineering technology programs in many disciplines are well suited to play a key role in advancing manufacturing initiatives." ~ Jeffrey L. Ray, Southern Polytechnic State University, Chair, ASEE Engineering Technology Council

"The American Society for Engineering Education Manufacturing Division endorses all of the recommendations made by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in its position on manufacturing education. We believe a strong manufacturing education base is key to future competitiveness for the United States." ~ Sean A. Falkowski, University of Dayton, Chair, ASEE Manufacturing Division

"The Association for Career and Technical Education supports the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy. Ensuring students have access to strong career pathways, and alignment of those pathways with employer needs, is the key to filling the skills gap. It is also an important aspect of ensuring the economic health and stability of the nation. The SME recommendations begin the important conversation about what is needed to renew emphasis and understanding about manufacturing pathways and what that means related to the economic recovery of the United States." ~ Jan Bray, Executive Director, Association for Career and Technical Education

"The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) supports the Society of Manufacturing Engineers launch of the Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy as a broad initiative to improve manufacturing competiveness. ATMAE has already taken action to adopt the SME Four Pillars of Manufacturing Knowledge and is encouraging our accredited programs to incorporate these principles for the improvement of their manufacturing programs. Many programs are currently using it to guide their curriculum improvement process, or plan to in the future. This will help to satisfy the strategy goals to articulate a standard core of manufacturing knowledge and improve consistency and quality of curriculum. A career in manufacturing either managerial, professional or technical will not only be a lifelong investment in a person's future, but is also an investment in the future of the US economy." ~ Bruce Aldrich, Executive Director, ATMAE; Pete Klein, Ohio University, President, ATMAE Manufacturing Division; and John L. Irwin, Michigan Technological University, Vice President, ATMAE Manufacturing Division

"Automation is a key factor in the continued global competitiveness of the U.S. An increasing number of engineers, technologists, and technicians must be educated as the “Next Generation of Automation Professionals” with the knowledge and skills necessary to avoid an adverse impact on the ability of U.S. industry to grow and compete globally in the future. The Automation Federation supports the recommendations of the “SME Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy” and joins SME in addressing solutions that are relevant to the manufacturing industry as a whole." ~ Michael Marlowe, Managing Director/Director of Government Relations, The Automation Federation

"We applaud the actions that SME is taking, shining a spotlight on the need to better prepare students to fill high-paying manufacturing jobs. At FIRST®, we use robotics and innovation competitions to inspire more than a quarter million kids a year to become interested in careers in technology, science, engineering." ~ Jon Dudas, President, FIRST

"We applaud SME for their initiative and white paper on “Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy. Our association looks forward to being a SME partner in supporting the initiative and making a difference in the number of students entering the manufacturing workforce. Nothing could be more important to our economy and to the field of manufacturing than to pursue an initiative aimed at creating the next generation manufacturing workforce." ~ Kendall N. Starkweather, Executive Director/CEO, International Technology & Engineering Educators Association

"The National Center for Manufacturing Education (NCME) is in full support of the SME “Strategy for Manufacturing Education.” For nearly two decades, the NCME has been a leader in improving the quality and impact of academic and workforce manufacturing programs throughout the country, and we applaud SME’s recommendations encouraging quality, consistency, and collaboration among educators, industry, government and professional organizations. SME provides a necessary strategy to further our mutual goal of fortifying advanced manufacturing in the US. The NCME is committed to working in alliance with the SME in developing and implementing initiatives to champion educators and attract students to manufacturing for the 21st century." ~ Steven Wendell, Director, NCME and PLTW Ohio 

"Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the United States. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, PLTW exists to prepare students for the global economy through its world-class curriculum, high quality professional development, and an engaged network of educators, students, universities and professionals. More than 4,700 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. Project Lead The Way fully supports the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) launch of a Workforce Imperative. As the number of unfilled manufacturing positions grows across the country and the number of skilled workers in the trades decreases, our organizations will align to fill this void. PLTW stands behind these efforts to address the shortage of workers in the field of manufacturing and grow the number of students and graduates in STEM fields. At PLTW, we believe a network of support and engagement creates a positive context for educational leadership and change. To that end, we fully endorse SME’s Workforce Imperative and look forward to a continuous dialogue on how to best close the manufacturing workforce skills gap." ~ Vince M. Bertram, President and Chief Executive Officer, PLTW

"SkillsUSA appreciates SME's continuing role in the vitally important work of educating, motivating and training America's highly-skilled manufacturing workforce. This white paper is another instance of SME's leadership. It will take many partners in American education and industry applying uniform world-class standards nationwide for us to be successful. We cannot afford to fail." ~ Tim Lawrence, Executive Director, SkillsUSA

"The skilled labor shortage is impacting business decisions to invest in the next generation of Smart Manufacturing. With an estimated 600,000 unfilled manufacturing positions across the U.S. today, the retirement of much of our core workforce over the next 10 years, and new generations not prepared to — or even interested in — taking their place, the Smart Manufacturing industry is facing a crisis. It is critical that we overcome it before it impacts our economy any further and our nation’s security. The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition supports the Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy being led by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers which calls for educators, industry, professional organizations and government to work together to:

1. Attract more students into manufacturing
2. Articulate a standard core of manufacturing knowledge
3. Improve the consistency and quality of manufacturing curriculum
4. Integrate manufacturing topics into STEM education
5. Develop faculty that deliver a world-class manufacturing education
6. Strategically deploy resources to accomplish these goals

"We encourage members and others to get involved by hosting an open house for students on National Manufacturing Day, October 5th." ~ Denise Swink, Chair, Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition

"The Society of Women Engineers promotes the inclusion of all young people in STEM careers. Manufacturers and our nation’s global competitiveness depend upon the innovation and creativity fueled by diverse teams of STEM professionals. The Society of Women Engineers applauds SME for the insight, thought leadership and concrete recommendations in addressing the manufacturing skills gap found in “Workforce Imperative: A Manufacturing Education Strategy.” Through successful implementation of the paper’s STEM and manufacturing education recommendations more Americans will be employed in rewarding manufacturing careers and the manufacturing sector will increasingly contribute to the health of the U.S. economy." ~ Betty Shanahan, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Society of Woman Engineers