Next Engineers initiative announces inaugural cities

young engineering students building in classroom

The GE Foundation has partnered with FHI 360’s subsidiary FHI Partners to launch Next Engineers — a 10-year global college-readiness initiative designed to increase the diversity of young people in engineering — in four locations: Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenville, South Carolina; Staffordshire, UK; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

“Engineers are critical to building a world that works, but diverse populations are woefully underrepresented in the field,” said Linda Boff, Vice President of GE and President of the GE Foundation. “GE employs thousands of engineers worldwide, and we are committed to providing the resources that will inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators.”

The $100 million program plans to reach more than 85,000 students in 25 cities around the world over the next decade. In each location, community partners will work with engineers from local GE teams to implement the initiative, while FHI 360 will provide training and technical assistance both virtually and in person. FHI 360 has begun to onboard community partners — which include two universities, a career readiness organization and an engineering education organization — in the inaugural cities.

FHI 360 brings the significant domestic and international experience necessary to work in a wide variety of contexts, as well as expertise in education and youth development projects. Its global education programs operate in a range of international contexts, including fragile and post-conflict areas, providing localized solutions to support youth development and growth. For 30 years, it has led the Bridge to Employment program, which builds the college and career readiness skills of disadvantaged high school students and provides STEM education.

“At FHI 360, we believe in a world where young people of all backgrounds can access the education and opportunities they need to realize their dreams,” said Tessie San Martin, Chief Executive Officer of FHI 360. “We know from research that early exposure and encouragement are key to attracting students to careers in engineering. We are thrilled to partner with GE Foundation to inspire the next generation of engineers.”

Through Next Engineers, students ages 13 to 18 will gain hands-on experience with engineering design thinking and career opportunities. To guide students along the path to engineering careers, the initiative will engage youth through three core programs:

  • Discovery (ages 13 to 14) — Youth will learn what engineers do through exploratory activities and demonstrations delivered by GE volunteers.
  • Camp (ages 14 to 15) — Students will spend a week immersed in the engineering process as they work alongside engineering educators and business leaders to complete design challenges inspired by real-world scenarios.
  • Academy (ages 15 to 18) — Future engineers will spend more than 80 hours per year outside of school learning to think like engineers, preparing for higher education and developing critical skills, including design thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. Next Engineers will provide scholarships to students who complete the academy and are accepted into an engineering program at an institution of higher education.

To learn more about how Next Engineers is inspiring the next generation, visit

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FHI Partners commends GE Foundation on its commitment to increase diversity of young people in engineering

female students engineering robotic item

GE Foundation is committing up to $100 million to create the Next Engineers program – a global college-readiness initiative to increase the diversity of young people in engineering. The program will focus on underrepresented students in grades eight to 12 (ages 13 to 18), provide hands-on exposure to engineering concepts and careers, and ultimately award scholarships to pursue engineering degrees. Over the next decade, the goal is to reach more than 85,000 students in approximately 25 cities globally, inspiring the next generation of engineers to build a world that works.

GE Foundation has partnered with FHI 360 through its subsidiary FHI Partners to develop the program framework. GE Foundation previously worked with FHI 360 on a program to remove education barriers for adolescent girls in Kenya and Nigeria.

“Engineers turn ideas into bridges, water pumps and climate-resilient health care facilities,” said Patrick Fine, Chief Executive Officer of FHI 360. “Through our partnership with GE Foundation, we are committed to increasing the number of underrepresented students entering this essential field. We are excited about their future and the role they will play in solving real-world problems.”

“Day in and day out, engineers are changing the world and solving society’s most pressing challenges – from clean energy to quality health care and more sustainable flight,” said Linda Boff, President of GE Foundation. “Next Engineers is designed to inspire and guide underrepresented young people in engineering, each with their unique perspective and diversity of experiences, to become the next generation of global problem solvers.”

The GE Foundation’s Next Engineer’s program has three pillars: Engineering Expo, a career fair or assembly to increase awareness about engineering opportunities; Engineering Camp, a week-long immersive experience to develop engineering identities; and Engineering Academy, a three-year program to guide and encourage students to pursue engineering degrees.

Learn more at and read GE Foundation’s announcement here.

About GE Foundation

GE Foundation, an independent charitable organization funded by GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. GE Foundation is developing skills by bringing innovative learning in community health globally and STEM education, scaling what works, and building sustainable solutions. GE Foundation is inspiring others to act by connecting GE people with communities through matching gifts, leading on emerging issues such as the opiate crisis, and convening community leaders to maximize our impact. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.

About FHI 360 and FHI Partners

FHI 360 is an international nonprofit working to improve the health and well-being of people in the United States and around the world by partnering with governments, the private sector and civil society. Using a 360-degree approach to human development, its team of more than 4,000 professionals work in over 60 countries to help create jobs, educate children, provide lifesaving health care and bring about positive social change. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @fhi360.

FHI Partners is a wholly owned subsidiary of FHI 360 that uses an agile, client-centered approach to leverage the technical expertise and global platform of FHI 360 to create customized solutions for corporations and foundations seeking to accelerate their social impact. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @fhipartners.

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