SME Funds Programs in Three States to Fight Competency Gaps and Help Create a Globally Competitive Workforce

    DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Education Foundation of the
 Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is working with industry, business
 and education to make a difference in the skill level of manufacturing
 engineers and has awarded $411,971 in grant funding to three colleges and
     *  Alexandria Technical College, Alexandria, Minn.
     *  Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
     *  Farmingdale State University of New York, Farmingdale, N.Y.
     The grant awards are an acknowledgement of each school's effective
 collaborative efforts in working with their industry partners and designing
 manufacturing programs to effectively resolve the issue of competency
 gaps previously identified by industry partners.  The SME Education Foundation
 (SME-EF) grants are part of a major effort to equip the manufacturing
 workforce with the knowledge and skills to be an effective and innovative
 force in global manufacturing.  Since 1998, SME-EF has funded more than
 $7 million to 37 colleges and universities.
     The 2004 grants include:
     *  A grant of $207,536 to Alexandria Technical College supports the
 Minnesota Center for Advanced Manufacturing Automation.  The two-year course
 will teach basic manufacturing automation principles to 160 high school
 students; and advanced automation and remote management principles to 120
 post-secondary students and 180 incumbent industry technicians.  The Center
 will serve as a benchmark center for distributed, regional, advanced
 manufacturing automation education, leverage the Internet to achieve inter-
 institutional cooperation, support current workforce and economic development,
 and serve as a core model for the NSF-ATE funded regional Center for Advanced
 Packaging Automation.
     *  $47,435 to Arizona State University to prepare students to enter
 industry as immediately productive engineers and technical leaders.  The
 curriculum links subject matter in multiple courses, over four semesters, to a
 single large manufacturing project carried to completion.  Students will learn
 how knowledge is linked to achieve the goals of the manufacturer -- and how
 decisions affect later stages of manufacturing.
     *  A grant of $157,000 to Farmingdale State University of New York will
 support their "Long Island Manufacturing Project" to help meet the competency
 requirements of 1,200 to 1,500 small to medium size manufacturing companies in
 Long Island, N.Y.  The curriculum will include bio and nano manufacturing, be
 industry-driven, multidisciplinary and inter-institutional in nature.  Bio
 engineering research and nano engineering research are two critical areas
 where the manufacturing industry is suffering due to the lack of technical
 personnel to enable the transfer of technology.
     About the SME Education Foundation:
     The SME Education Foundation was founded in 1979 and has awarded more than
 $17 million in cash grants, scholarships, and special awards -. more than any
 other professional engineering society.  In addition to college and university
 grants, the Foundation builds the future workforce by increasing interest in
 manufacturing-related careers among K-12 students and providing financial
 assistance to college students pursuing manufacturing, engineering, science
 and technology degrees.
     About SME:
     The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional
 society supporting manufacturing education.  Visit .

SOURCE Society of Manufacturing Engineers

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