Training our workforce: Grants support future of engineering


Dearborn, MI —Two grants to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announced recently by the Ford Motor Co . will support engineering scholarships and education programs. The awards, totaling $150,000, reinforce Ford’s commitment to the education of its future workforce. Since 1981, the company has donated $1.6 million to the SME Education Foundation.

“Once again, Ford has demonstrated its leadership in supporting and advancing industry by investing in the future of the manufacturing skilled workforce,” said Glen H. Pearson, president of the SME Education Foundation. Ford’s ongoing support in this area, added Pearson, “gives young people positive, hands-on manufacturing experiences and exposes them to exciting careers in math, science, and technology.”

The grants include $100,000 to support the SME Education Foundation’s Science, Technology, & Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) Program at the University of Detroit Mercy. STEPS is a one-week summer camp that gives middle-school students a look at science and technology through hands-on activities. The early exposure is intended to help the young people plan ahead to take courses in high school that will prepare them for engineering degree programs. The camps have introduced more than 400 students to the possibility of pursuing engineering careers.

A second grant of $50,000 will fund the Foundation’s Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (PAS) scholarship. The award is made to graduating students of the Ford PAS program, a high school curriculum created by Ford that links classroom learning with the challenges students will face in post-secondary education and the workplace. Eight students have received scholarships thus far. Any PAS student intending to pursue a degree in technology or engineering may apply for the $10,000 annual stipend, which can be used at any accredited U.S. college or university.

“America’s manufacturers can only thrive if we continue to supply them with qualified, well-educated engineers,” said Mike Schmidt, director of education and community development for the Ford Motor Co. Fund. “We believe that it is the responsibility of industry leaders to invest in our future workforce,” he went on. “Through our support of the SME Education Foundation, we are able to advance our industry and offer opportunities to deserving students.”

Read more from Control Engineering about STEPS and other technical and engineering education opportunities .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Edited by Jeanine Katzel, senior editor,

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