We've known it to be true for years: leading technology companies need schools to train students in science, technology, engineering and math.
It's why we've helped hundreds of schools implement 3d printing programs, and now, Boeing - America's largest airplane maker - has confirmed the importance of STEM education.
“We need to get aggressive with getting the next generation involved in advanced manufacturing,” Tommy Preston, head of Boeing’s national strategy and government operations said recently South Carolina “We have additive manufacturing. We use 3D printing and animation now.”
Preston stressed that half of Boeing's 7500 engineers will be eligible to retire in less than 6 years, and the company needs their future employees to have the right skills to build the airplanes of tomorrow. The company is already building engine parts and other airplane components with 3d printing, and the scale of these programs is set to grow exponentially over the next decade.
“We’re constantly working with schools across South Carolina to ensure schools have information to teach their students how to work at Boeing,” Preston said.
The company has invested over $32 million into the South Carolina education system to help train students in 3d printing, robotics, animation and other 21st century skills.
“We have to get students involved in STEM in the early years,” said Roy Ann Volley, the principal of Delmae Heights Elementary School in South Carolina, at a meeting with Boeing and Preston.
“We’re now preparing children to think about careers in this field. We also use this as a way to say everybody doesn’t have to attend a four-year university to have careers like this. Technical schools are the thing for STEM.”