Engineering & Manufacturing ScholarshipsIn an article earlier this week, titled "The Paradox of Worker Shortages at a Time of High National Unemployment," Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute, writes:

"At a time of high national unemployment, it has become a truism that there are few worker shortages and employers have numerous applicants for every available slot. After all, that is the very definition of joblessness. High unemployment results when there are many more workers seeking positions than available jobs.

"Yet the paradox of the contemporary situation is that in this time of stubbornly high unemployment, a number of fields report a shortage of American workers and problems filling key positions. For example, even as the country as a whole experiences high unemployment, the Bureau of Labor has found that there are over 3.5 million open jobs – openings across the country and across sectors. In some specialized sectors, such as high-tech, advanced manufacturing, and medical specialties, unemployment rates are as low as three, four, or five percent."

Mr. West's article serves as yet another sign for college applicants and those currently enrolled, but still undecided on their major, that engineering is hot! The STEM skills shortage here in the United States is leaving many high-paying manufacturing and engineering jobs unfilled. As such, here I provide information on seven engineering and manufacturing scholarships and resources for current and would-be students who are seeking to position themselves well for gainful employment in skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs upon graduation.

Engineering & Manufacturing Scholarships & Resources

1. National Society of Professional Engineers
The NSPE provides resources for students seeking information about engineering scholarships and tips for navigating the the path toward a rewarding career.

2. Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation
Since 1998, the SME Education Foundation has provided over $8.1 million dollars in financial aid through its various scholarship programs. The Foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors, current undergraduates, and master's or doctoral degree students pursuing degrees in manufacturing and related fields at two-year and four-year colleges.

3. American Institute of Chemical Engineers Student Awards & Competitions
AIChE's student awards program recognizes academic skill and student chapter achievements. Scholarships and competitions are included.

4. ASME Scholarship & Loans
ASME Scholarship & Loans, established in 1923 and incorporated as a charitable non-profit organization in 1977, establishes and supports funding to students of mechanical engineering at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

5. Society of Women Engineers Scholarships
SWE Scholarships support women pursuing ABET-accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology, and computer science in the United States and Mexico. In 2012, SWE disbursed 198 new and renewed scholarships valued at $577,000.

6. ASCO NUMATICS Industrial Automation Engineering Scholarship Program
ASCO Numatics is now accepting applications for its 2013-2014 ASCO Numatics Industrial Automation Engineering Scholarship program. Under the program, ASCO Numatics will award two $5,000 engineering scholarships to U.S. students, provide two $1,000 grants to the engineering departments of the colleges at which the winners are enrolled, and host the two winners as all-expense paid guests at The Amazing Packaging Race at PACK EXPO International 2013 on Sept. 25, 2013, in Las Vegas.

7. North American Manufacturing Scholarship Program
ThomasNet has launched its North American Manufacturing Scholarship Program, which will award up to 30 graduating high school seniors, with an interest in manufacturing careers, $1,000 manufacturing scholarships to pursue studies at a two-year or four-year college, or a vocational-technical school.