Honda grant supports SME Education Foundation program
Manufacturers searching for the skilled workers necessary to compete in the 21st century are actively participating in the effort to close the skills gap that exists. As part of an ongoing commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs, Honda of America Mfg., Inc. has committed $75,000 to support the SME Education Foundation’s PRIME program over the next three years.
PRIME is an initiative of the SME Education Foundation to address the shortage of advanced manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Through this effort, the Foundation provides funding to exemplary schools that offer programs with STEM curriculums and project-based learning to help students pursue technical careers or post-secondary education.
The funding provided by Honda will focus on growing PRIME in the state of Ohio. Current PRIME schools in Ohio include: Tri-Rivers Career Center in Marion; Centerville High School, in Centerville; and Fairmont High School, in Kettering. Course offerings at these schools have a superior representation of all STEM subjects. They include coursework directly linked to a manufacturing environment and provide students with hands-on experience to solve real-world problems.
Through its charitable giving and volunteer programs, Honda supports a number of activities in local communities to encourage student development in the STEM disciplines. In addition to the SME Education Foundation’s PRIME initiative, Honda’s commitment to STEM-based learning includes sponsorship of the National Robotics Challenge held each year in Marion, Ohio, local school-based STEM and robotics clubs, as well as summer programs and competitions in Central Ohio like Camp Invention and Invention Convention.
“The SME Education Foundation and Honda of America are committed to addressing the skills gap that exists in America today,” says Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. “It’s important for businesses to understand that their future skilled workforce is sitting in a classroom today and needs their support to develop skills in these key areas.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average age of a highly skilled U.S. manufacturing worker is 56 years old. “As baby boomers move toward retirement, businesses must consider where the talent will come from to fill the positions that become available. Now is the time to inspire and prepare the next generation, and it’s up to the manufacturing community to support this effort,” Aslin concluded.