Ford gives $150,000 in grants to SME's Education Foundation | Automation.com

Ford gives $150,000 in grants to SME's Education Foundation

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 19, 2007 - Reinforcing its 25-year commitment to the education of its future workforce, the Ford Motor Company has awarded two grants, totaling $150,000, to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation. Since 1981, Ford has donated $1,608,000 to the SME Education Foundation for scholarships and other engineering education programs.

"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 of the SME Education Foundation's programs gives young people positive, hands-on manufacturing experiences and exposes them to exciting careers in math, science and technology."

One grant awards $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 into the exciting world of science and technology through hands-on activities. This early exposure helps young people plan ahead and take the necessary courses in high school to prepare them for engineering degree programs. With Ford's past contributions, the University of Detroit Mercy's STEPS camps have introduced 427 young students to the possibility of pursuing an engineering career at an affordable cost to the students.

An additional $50,000 grant will fund the SME Education Foundation's Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (PAS) Scholarship, a grant that has funded the education of eight students to date. The SME Ford PAS Scholarship is awarded 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. Former PAS students who are applying to college and want to pursue a degree in technology or engineering can apply for the annual $10,000 PAS Scholarship, which can be used at any accredited college or university in the United States.

"America's manufacturers can only thrive if we continue to supply them with qualified, well-educated engineers. At Ford, we believe that it is the responsibility of industry leaders to invest in our future workforce," said Mike Schmidt, director, Education and Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. "Through our support of the SME Education Foundation, we are able to advance our industry and offer opportunities to deserving students."

The SME Education Foundation has tools to inspire, support and prepare young people for careers in manufacturing.

About the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation is one of the nation's leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing manufacturing education. Its approach is three-fold: to inspire youth to pursue careers in manufacturing; to support students studying for a career in an engineering-related field; and prepare these students through its Manufacturing Education Plan grant program in colleges and technical schools. Since 1980, the Foundation has provided more than $19 million in grants, scholarships, and awards. The Education Foundation was created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979 as a means of transforming manufacturing education in North American colleges and universities.
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