Source: Industry Week
By Michele Nash-Hoff
With thousands of “baby boomers” retiring in the next decade and few new employees getting into manufacturing, manufacturers are worried about their futures. The industry is dealing with a severe shortage of workers equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to function in advanced manufacturing workplaces. Thankfully, schools are finally catching on that they are the first step to showing students the opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
SME has been working for years to bring back manufacturing education during a time when there is a big shortage of in-demand skilled talent in positions such as mechatronics, programming, welding, CNC machining, metrology and more.
To help close the skills gap, the “SME Education Foundation announced a new partnership with NASA’s agency-wide HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program, to get more youth engaged in advanced manufacturing and ultimately encourage them to consider and pursue long-term careers in the industry.” This collaboration between HUNCH and the Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) initiative will give high school students an opportunity to build actual hardware that NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers would use in their training programs and at the International Space Station (ISS).