How to solve the skills gap? Ask next-gen workers.

Jan. 22, 2019 surveys students and awards scholarship. announced as the winner of its 2019 Manufacturing Scholarship Pauline Tasci, 22, of Glendale, California, who is studying manufacturing engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. The company also donated $500 to her school's engineering department.

Scholarship applicants were required to submit an essay or video detailing three

Scholarship winner Pauline Tasci

innovative ways the manufacturing industry can effectively increase the number of young professionals seeking careers in the field. (See Pauline's essay along with those of the two runners-up here).

Pauline participated in engineering competitions for nine years and was the lead manufacturing student throughout high school. She now serves as a manufacturing and design mentor for high school teams and teaches students about CNC machinery. She also was a manufacturing-engineering intern at Applied Medical, Aerojet Rocketdyne and SpaceX.

"A shortage of skilled labor is probably the manufacturing industry's greatest challenge. The CNC Machines scholarship and accompanying school donation is our way of encouraging students to enter the industry and supporting the schools educating them," said Curt Doherty, founder and CEO of "If we can support impressive students like Pauline in entering the manufacturing field, then the future of manufacturing is bright." 

The contest garnered dozens of applications with creative ideas, but one theme was consistent: early education is key to addressing the manufacturing career gap. Doherty sees this trend as an indicator that manufacturers have a unique opportunity to invest in programs in high schools that give students more exposure to the field.

"If students and their families are making these decisions then it stands to reason that the manufacturing industry has to step up and provide the resources that allow students to take classes and receive career counseling regarding continuing education opportunities and careers options in manufacturing," he said. 

"If more and more companies invest in manufacturing education, I truly believe that together we can reverse the manufacturing employment and skills gap and instead see a reinvigorated future for the manufacturing industry. At, we will continue to support schools and students to reach that goal and encourage our fellow manufacturers to help in their own way."