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Supporting the Next Generation of American Innovators

By Manny Manriquez, General Director

On the heels of their engagement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, automakers are now in Detroit to showcase next-generation automotive technologies that would astound the early automotive innovators who lived over a century ago.

The auto industry’s culture of innovation is a force of nature in the American economy. JAMA members are proud of their role in designing, developing, and building vehicles in the United States and are dedicated to preparing the current and future American workforce for advances in manufacturing.

Our members’ employees are not only their most invaluable resource – they’re also colleagues, family, and partners, working to ensure that our members grow and thrive in the highly competitive American auto industry.

However, looking to the future, JAMA members recognize that they must go beyond investing in their own nearly 93,000 workers. So all across the United States, our members are dedicated to instilling a love of lifelong learning and discovery in American youth – the next great generation of innovators – through exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and showing them how developing these skills can prepare them for exciting careers.

For example, Honda has provided more than $37 million in grants to advance youth STEM education projects, including in Los Angeles, where it partners with the POSSE Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to establish a STEM pipeline for young men of color and to create a diverse, multicultural pool of leaders for tomorrow.

Mazda travels the country with its Racing Accelerates Creative Education (R.A.C.E.) program, inspiring and educating high school students across the country through an interactive presentation on how STEM disciplines are vital to auto racing.

Nissan has partnered with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Foundation’s A World in Motion (AWIM) program, including a $1.5 million grant to develop cutting-edge STEM programs for children. Nissan also provides funding to help teachers bring AWIM to classrooms in Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

As part of the Subaru Loves Learning initiative, Subaru partners with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), inspiring students to think about the world in new ways through donations of books and school supplies. Since 2015, Subaru and AAAS have donated over 187,000 award-winning science books to schools across the country.

Toyota has awarded over $2 million in grants to schools across the United States together with partner Project Lead The Way, including $150,000 in grants to 11 schools in Central Kentucky near their Georgetown plant. Project Lead The Way helps prepare K-12 students for careers in STEM fields by providing access to hands-on curricula in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

These are just a few examples of our members’ commitment to ensuring that students have access to the academic support they need, while also providing opportunities for our future leaders to explore ideas and subjects that are critical to a 21st century economy.

Our members are proud to support their communities and the next generation of American innovators—the most critical factor in maintaining the American auto industry’s innovative and competitive edge.

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