DEARBORN, MI-Industries committed to the development of a skilled workforce and keeping America’s manufacturing sector strong have given $318,000 in sponsorship grants to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation. The funding will makes it possible for secondary-school students who are aspiring to careers in technology and engineering to attend the foundation’s Gateway Academies.

Supporting this initiative are:

  • American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation
  • Andersen Corporate Foundation
  • Capsugel, a division of Pfizer
  • Emerson Charitable Trust
  • Ewing M. Kauffman Foundation
  • Ford Motor Co. Fund
  • Goodrich Turbine Component Services
  • Haworth Inc.
  • H. B. Fuller Company Foundation
  • Honda of America Manufacturing Inc.
  • Kennametal Inc.
  • PPG Industries
  • Westinghouse Electric Corp.

    “Thanks to these generous organizations, we are able to continue helping steer young people toward careers in engineering and technology,” says Bart Aslin, executive director of the SME Education Foundation. “Their ongoing commitment to science, technology, engineering and math education is essential as we equip the future workforce with the skills necessary for success.”

    Gateway Academies are summer camps where talented secondary school students explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The SME Education Foundation organizes more than 220 Gateway Academies in 34 states, in concert with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a nonprofit that creates innovative pre-engineering curriculum. The SME Education Foundation has invested $1 million of its own funds toward the Foundation’s 2009 summer youth programs.

    At each Gateway Academy, PLTW-certified instructors lead students in projects and activities related to engineering disciplines. The SME Education Foundation and PLTW are dedicated to filling the projected shortfall in American engineers, so a major goal of Gateway Academies is to motivate students to participate in Gateway to Technology courses designed by PLTW during the school year, and encourage enrollment in college-preparatory science and math courses.