The SME Education Foundation has received investments from Caterpillar Inc. and Amazon to help ensure that distance-learning opportunities become available for thousands of career and technical education students across the country.
The organizations join initial investor Arconic Foundation and others in this national effort.
“We’re pleased to support this important initiative,” said Kevin Joustra, engineer with Caterpillar’s Innovation & Technology Development Division. “Manufacturing offers so much opportunity for young people: this effort is critical in preparing and helping them to explore that opportunity.”
The SME Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm of SME, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization serving the manufacturing industry. A 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation helps attract and develop a skilled manufacturing workforce. The SME Education Foundation is teaming with Tooling U-SME, the training and development arm of SME, through a unique COVID-19 Campaign to provide online learning opportunities to high school students in 12 manufacturing disciplines, including additive manufacturing, mechatronics and smart manufacturing.
Tooling U-SME works directly with the manufacturing community and hundreds of high schools, community and technical colleges and universities to prepare the next-generation workforce by providing industry-driven and learner-centered curriculum. Online learning is a significant component of this effort, and particularly relevant and useful during the closure of schools across the country.
“This campaign will help thousands of high school students have access to premium-quality online career and technical education opportunities,” said Rob Luce, SME Education Foundation vice president. “Tooling U-SME is a valuable partner and industry leader in workforce development; we’re grateful for the support and leadership from these industry leaders.”
Learn more about the SME Education Foundation and its COVID-19 Campaign at smeef.org/get-involved/covid-19-campaign.
About the SME Education Foundation
As the philanthropic arm of SME, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization serving the manufacturing industry, the SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares and supports the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. The Foundation leverages the 90-year history and thought leadership of SME in the manufacturing and engineering industry to provide curated experiences for thousands of high school students at SME conferences and tradeshows and builds hands-on manufacturing programs in high schools across the country. The Foundation also awards millions of dollars in scholarships every year to graduating high school seniors and both undergraduate and graduate students. Through its SME PRIME program, the Foundation has reached over 100,000 students in 60 schools across 22 states. All Foundation activities are designed to empower young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering.