The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation has continued to provide funding of $400,000 to 167 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) highs schools for Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) program upgrades. The equipment and classroom material upgrades are part of schools’ transition to a new platform after a 2009 agreement between PLTW and VEX Robotics.
The funding is intended to prepare young people for careers in industries with the greatest potential for long-term economic growth, says Bart A. Aslin, CEO of the SME Education Foundation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEP) occupations will grow by 17 percent to 8.6 million by 2018. Nearly 8- percent of those positions will require a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education.