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The SME Education Foundation’s newest Web portal www.CareerMe.org– responds to what has become a national economic imperative, innovative education and job creation. As it develops, this all-inclusive, single-site resource will provide a roadmap to advanced manufacturing careers and serve as a “career navigation service” that compiles online – educators, business and industry and associations in one place.
In a major effort to fill the pipeline with highly skilled workers, the SME Education Foundation and its industry partners, the Academy of Engineering (AEO) and Project Lead The Way (PLTW), have targeted tech-savvy high school and college-age students – in grades 11-14, with information on lucrative advanced manufacturing careers at national, state, and regional levels.
“We are not lacking career opportunity in this country,” says foundation director Bart A. Aslin, SME Education Foundation. “CareerMe.org offers information on new direction in emerging technologies and the career credentials young people will need.”
The Web site’s commanding list of resources includes colleges and universities offering advanced manufacturing programs – by state and region; business and industries involved in the development of advanced technologies, access to technical experts, presentations and videos, projects created and posted by students, and companies offering mentoring, onsite visits, plant tours and interaction with engineering professionals. A social media component allows users to interact with peers, teachers and counselors, business and industry to set up their own accounts and connect with classrooms across the country.
The foundation and its partners encourage students, parents, colleges and universities, business and industry to take advantage of increasing their visibility by posting their own information on this new Web site where the focus is advanced manufacturing. The site is now populated with information for 16 states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas (East, West, Central and South), Washington and Wisconsin.
Plans call for the SME Education Foundation to work with SME Senior and Student Chapters and SME Technical Community Network (TCN) to provide mentoring, plant tours, and on-site visits. The TCN sectors include: Automated Manufacturing & Assembly, Forming & Fabricating, Industrial Laser, Manufacturing Education & Research, Plastics, Composites & Coatings, and Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing.
The CareerMe.org Web site is integral to the educational career path created by the SME Education Foundation which offers programs supporting the development of a skilled workforce. Working with their industry partner, Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the Foundation’s Gateway Academy has introduced more than 4,800 students in 28 states to PLTW’s project-based curriculum designed to introduce middle-school students to the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. In high schools, where PLTW curriculum is offered, students are given access to Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Centers funded by the Foundation.
As the emerging technologies sector continues to accelerate, companies increasingly dependent on advanced manufacturing technologies and processes, want to hire engineers capable of designing and improving products, operating high-tech tools and machinery, analyzing problems and maintaining or increasing their productivity levels. Today, 81 percent of American manufacturers say their biggest problem is finding technologically skilled workers.
Funding for the creation and maintenance of the new CareerMe.org Web site has been provided by the SME Education Foundation to the National Center for Manufacturing Education (NCME). Their collaborative partners include the Academy of Engineering (AOE), Project Lead the Way Inc. (PLTW), the National Academy Foundation (NAF), and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc. (NACME).
CareerMe.org, initiated by the SME Education Foundation in 2008, provides high school and college-age students with information on lucrative advanced manufacturing careers at national, state, and regional levels. This unique Web site provides access to advanced manufacturing education and career opportunities, organizations, companies and engineers, technologies and technical experts, and interactive networking opportunities for students, parents, educators and industry modeled after popular social media applications. Visit www.CareerMe.org.
About the National Center for Manufacturing Education (NCME)
The National Center for Manufacturing Education was created in a workforce development partnership between Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton. In 1995, the organization was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under their Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program as a National Center of Excellence in manufacturing education. Today, it serves as a source of materials and support services, professional development, and as an electronic clearinghouse through its Manufacturing Education Resource Center (MERC). Visit www.ncmeresource.org.
About the SME Education Foundation
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, and celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at www.smeef.org, www.CareerMe.organd its award-winning Web site for young people, www.ManufacturingisCool.com.