CNCMachines.net announced the winner of its 2019 Manufacturing Scholarship. Pauline Tasci, 22, of Glendale, California is studying Manufacturing Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, California. The company also donated $500 to her school’s engineering department.
Scholarship applicants were required to submit an essay or video detailing three innovative ways the manufacturing industry can effectively increase the number of young professionals seeking careers in the field. (See Pauline’s essay along with those of the two runners-up here ).
Pauline participated in engineering competitions for nine years and was the lead manufacturing student throughout high school. She now serves as a manufacturing and design mentor for high school teams and teaches students about CNC machinery. She also was a manufacturing engineering intern at Applied Medical, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and SpaceX.
“A shortage of skilled labor is probably the manufacturing industry’s greatest challenge. The CNC Machines scholarship and accompanying school donation is our way of encouraging students to enter the industry and supporting the schools educating them,” said Curt Doherty, founder and CEO, CNCMachines.net. “If we can support impressive students like Pauline in entering the manufacturing field, then the future of manufacturing is bright.”
“We received dozens of applications with amazing and creative ideas yet interestingly, one theme was consistent: early education is key to addressing the manufacturing career gap,” said Doherty. “We believe this is an area that presents manufacturers with a unique opportunity to invest in programs in high schools that give students more exposure to the field.”
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education on High School Students’ Views on Who Influences Their Thinking about Education and Career, nearly half of the students (49 percent) reported that family members most influenced their thinking on careers while 34 percent said their most influential source was themselves. School staff and non-family members made up a mere five percent of those with the most influence.
“If students and their families are making these decisions then it stands to reason that the manufacturing industry has to step up and provide the resources that allow students to take classes and receive career counseling regarding continuing education opportunities and careers options in manufacturing,” Doherty added.
Industry leaders seem to agree. Of the manufacturing executives interviewed for Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute’s Skills Gap in Manufacturing Report, 72 percent said involvement with local schools and community colleges is effective in combating the skilled worker shortage threatening the industry.
“If more and more companies invest in manufacturing education, I truly believe that together we can reverse the manufacturing employment and skills gap and instead see a reinvigorated future for the manufacturing industry,” added Doherty. “At CNCMachines.net, we will continue to support schools and students to reach that goal and encourage our fellow manufacturers to help in their own way.”