Engineering is the backbone of our company, and our industry. NTN employs hundreds of engineers, all dedicated to finding ways to improve our products and assist our customers in finding solutions to their problems. We are honored to be a part of the Design News Engineering Awards Sponsorship Program, and have the opportunity to give back to the profession that has enabled us to become a world leader in the bearings industry. The year 2000 marks NTN's tenth anniversary of helping support this program through a gift of a $20,000 educational grant to the college selected by the Special Achievement Award winner. Furthermore, I am very pleased to continue to be a part of a program that not only acknowledges the accomplishments of some of the brightest minds in engineering, but also has generated more than one million dollars in scholarships to aspiring engineers.
NTN prides itself on the quality of its products and service, which is evident in the many quality awards bestowed by its customers on the company. The nature of our industry has continued to push us to seek new ways to improve, and NTN has responded. The company has earned ISO 9000 and QS9000 certification, a feat that would have been far more challenging if not for the caliber of NTN's engineers. But that talent needs to be developed and encouraged in schools. NTN's support of future engineers begins at the elementary level and continues through college. Our engineers work with children in various stages of development through such engineering associations as the SAE. In the past, NTN also has supported U.S. First, a group dedicated to encouraging children's interest in math and science, in the hopes of steering them towards rewarding careers in engineering.
In addition, NTN has been involved with engineering orientation programs at several universities. These programs strive to provide an introduction to careers in engineering to women and minority students who have been selected by their high schools. During these courses, students learn the educational requirements necessary to pursue an engineering degree, and the bene- fits and challenges they'll face if they choose engineering as a career path.
Since NTN's founding in 1918, the company has worked diligently to become a world leader in the manufacturing of bearings and constant velocity joints. At the dawn of a new century, NTN continues to seek new applications to develop, new precision products to design, and new ways and methods to improve all facets of the design and manufacturing process. We will rely on the experience and expertise of our engineers to carry us through these challenges.
It is critical to the success of all manufacturers to find ways to encourage the youth of America to explore the possibilities of a career in engineering. Whether it's through the fiscal support of programs such as Design News' Engineering Awards Program, or lending time and talent to educational programs, we must find ways to improve enrollment in engineering schools.
NTN will continue to do all it can towards this goal. I welcome and encourage you to join us.