February 10, 2012
The SME Education Foundation, Dearborn, Mich., has provided $400,000 in 2012 to 167 Project Lead The Way high schools for equipment and classroom material upgrades for their computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) programs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2018, the total U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations will grow by 17 percent to 8.6 million jobs, almost 70 percent of which will require a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education.
In 2009 a PLTW agreement with VEX® Robotics resulted in schools transitioning to a new platform that included the adoption of comprehensive programming software. As part of the transition, PLTW high schools offering the CIM course were required to purchase additional equipment to accommodate the upgrades. The SME Education Foundation provided funding to PLTW high schools where the CIM course was offered.
"Our funding is based on preparing young people for careers in industries with the greatest potential for long-term economic growth — advanced manufacturers and developers and producers of high-tech, complex products," said Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation.