Funding Education, BP takes another hit, Rockwell releases new PACs, Podcast

It’s Friday the 13th. Good luck. First the good news. The SME Education Foundation has awarded $382,250 in scholarships and awards ranging from $1,000 to $70,000 to 140 students in the U.S. and Canada. The Foundation encourages financial support of manufacturing education programs in the U.S. where there is a desperate need for highly-skilled technical workers. Applications for the academic year, 2011-2012, will be accepted mid-September 2010.

Said Bart A. Aslin, foundation director, SME Education Foundation, “This funding reflects our determination to advance manufacturing education however possible. These young people have proven themselves to be engaged and intent in their studies and deserve this financial encouragement. And to our legion of donors who continually provide their support, we thank them for their generosity.”

Check out these relevant Web sites: SME Education Foundation; Career Me, a new website supporting advanced manufacturing careers, and Manufacturing Is Cool, an award-winning website for young people.

Now the bad news. According to this article in The New York Times, BP has agreed to pay a record $50.6 million fine to the federal government for safety violations found by regulators last year at its troubled refinery in Texas City, Tex. In addition to the record fine, BP has agreed to take immediate steps to protect those now working at the refinery and spend at least $500 million on that effort, according to the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The thing about the Gulf disaster is that it wasn’t the first time BP was in the news because of safety problems.

Rockwell Automation has released two new programmable automation controllers in the ControlLogix family, the L73 and L75. These feature Secure Digital (SD) cards in place of compact flash, a USB port and an “energy storage module” replacing the lithium battery. They also feature a diagnostic display.

Gary has a podcast posted.

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