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STEM Education: Why it Matters to Everyone

Manufacturing in America is bouncing back in a big way, and there are many reasons why. One of the biggest ones is innovation—the technology and thought leadership that’s prevalent in manufacturing in this country is second-to-none, and it’s making us truly competitive.

This same innovation and technology is changing the face of manufacturing, making it more exciting and more stimulating than ever. And yet, while the industry is growing and jobs are opening, there aren’t enough young people to fill the positions. This skills gap is a real challenge, and is projected to get worse unless we solve the problem soon.

Most experts agree that the best way to address this is through STEM education; science, technology, engineering, and math training for young people of all ages can get them excited about careers in STEM, get them properly prepared for these careers, and address the skilled labor shortage.
While education beyond high school is very important for all young people’s futures, traditional four-year universities don’t have to be the only choice. In fact, technical colleges provide excellent skills training and preparation for a good career, with less debt and often more bang for your buck. There is a real need for machinists, automation
professionals, programmers, and more, and technical schools give hands-on training that lead to promising, fulfilling, stable careers in this great industry.

We can also do more to reach children, even before it’s time for them to consider the next step after high school. Personally, we actively engage in local STEM education programs, including our involvement with Newberg High School. We’ve helped support their machines shop program, donating live centers and machines, where the students got actively involved.  They even created engines like these!

Working with the passionate teachers there, including Terry Cross, and the dedicated students was a great honor for us, and a reminder of how and why STEM education is so crucial. The future of manufacturing lies in these young Americans, and when they get the training and skills they need, everybody wins.

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