Help prepare our Workforce of the Future become a “Student Friendly” exhibitor at SOUTHTEC today!

“Student Friendly” means your organization agrees to host small student groups at your booth for a short informational session regarding products, processes or equipment displayed in the booth. The students will be led by adult mentors on a designated path throughout the event. The first 8 exhibitors to respond will be selected as “Student Friendly” and will be included in the guided passport tour. You can also be selected as “Student Friendly” based on technology, location and mix of participants. 

Bright Minds SME SouthtecSOUTH-TEC is the ideal venue for your company to publicly demonstrate support for student activities leading to careers in manufacturing.  Through the support of the Bright Minds Program the benefits of the connections made can help fulfill your company’s future recruitment needs, increase your marketing exposure, strengthen your ties to the educational and civic communities, and help improve the competencies of future skilled workers, engineers and technologists…your future workforce!

Please click here to review the Exhibitor Support Form that details the benefits you will receive and return via email or fax.


SME Bright Minds is a program for SME members to engage, encourage, and bridge collaboration and communication with high school and college students, educators, industry professionals and administrators to reinforce the value of an education and career in manufacturing. By attending Bright Minds, you can learn about manufacturing career pathways, gain leadership skills, influence curriculum, mentor and connect with industry professionals.

The Influence, Impact and Connection made through Bright Minds

Opportunities for Students

  • Share talent and learn about technology.
  • To compete with peers to see how you measure up to industry expectations.
  • Exposure to career and education options.
  • Connections to industry and potentially your first boss!

At the end of the event, student attendees will… 

  • Improve their problem-solving skills.
  • Grow their research skills.
  • Expand their social skills.
  • Increase motivation to learn.
  • Develop critical thinking, writing and communication skills.
  • Enhance retention of information.
  • Demonstrate the power of working cooperatively.
  • Provide students with an active and interactive process that engages them to identify what they know, and more importantly, what they don’t know.

Opportunities for SME Members and Industry Professionals

  • Meet the future workforce.
  • Attract youth to careers in manufacturing.
  • Mentor, guide and promote manufacturing careers.
  • Advance manufacturing in the Northeast.

At the end of the event, SME members and industry participants will…

  • Grow the company reach to the workforce pipeline — our students.
  • Influence the career choices of our youth.
  • Make connections to the next-generation workforce and educators.
  • Build a plan to improve the quality of education to meet industry needs.

Opportunities for Educators 

  • Help young people develop the skills, knowledge and desire to become good citizens and productive members of society through a manufacturing career.
  • Strengthen your students’ academic competencies.
  • Build student confidence.
  • Prepare students for meaningful work in a number of industries.


At the end of the event, the educator attendees will… 

  • Advance teaching knowledge and find a renewed interest and excitement for teaching in a different way.
  • Hone group facilitation skills to promote process learning.
  • Obtain new innovations in learning using the Problem-Based Learning model.
  • Be armed with vital information to consider for current and future educational programs.
  • Be provided a model for lifelong learning.
Established in 1986, IMD is a monthly publication that serves the owners and managers of America’s most diversified job shops, machine shops, OEM / MRO, contract manufacturers and production line manufacturing. This dedicated metalworking audience is the driving force behind U.S. manufacturing. Our readership is audited by EDA (Equipment Data Associates). EDA is audited by (Verified Publication Audit).