2020 asbe Foundation News and Information

January 2020

 President's Message

Our thanks to the many who participated in the asbe Foundation’s Annual Fall Golf Outing. As you know the golf outing is the primary funding source for our work and your support was instrumental in moving us forward. The year 2020 begins a new decade; A time to look forward and also to look back.

Looking back, the Foundation made progress in helping industry, educators and students in new and various ways. As the auto industry recovered from the 2008 recession, the demand for designers increased. The asbe Foundation partnered with Talascend, MichiganWorks! and Macomb Community College to refresh the skills of nearly 400  unemployed designers in the latest design software. With support from Talascend and through the Foundation’s industry connections, most of the designers found positions back in industry. 

The Foundation began hosting a booth at the Detroit Autorama in 2011. Partnering with local universities, a community college and an industry partner, we were able to speak to 2500 to 3000 high school students collectively per year about career opportunities in design and engineering and provided information at the booth on the educational pathways to get there.

Industrial plant and engineering center tours for students and teachers were initiated through the Foundation’s efforts. Historical tours were added to the mix, utilizing several local automotive museums.The High School Design Challenge contest was updated and began to use actual automotive CAD data to give students realistic design and engineering projects to solve.

Looking forward into the new decade, asbe is in the process of reviewing its activities and updating its mission statement to better reflect the challenges design and engineering students will face as they enter a rapidly changing transportation industry. With emphasis on the creative design process, we will continue to inspire students to realize their careers, to be flexible, and to be adaptable to change. We are exploring the creation of video recorded interviews with industry experts on their professional responsibilities to be made available to students and teachers. Our redesigned website provides us with much more flexibility to link such interviews as well as other resources to better serve students and the educational community. Finally, we continue to look for ways to increase our ability to provide scholarships to deserving students.

We enter this new decade with optimism that we will find growing support from industry and additional volunteers to help us better serve students who are our future engineers and designers. We invite you to become involved with any/all of our upcoming events including; judging the Design Challenge Competition, volunteering at our Autorama booth, serving as a docent at our youth plant/museum tours, or assisting at our annual Awards Dinner.    

Dave Barran
asbe President




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