High School Students to Get Engineering Education via SME
The initiative is being supported with a grant from Georgia to help ensure a qualified pipeline of talent for the state’s manufacturing industry, according to SME.
February 17, 2023
The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and Georgia Association of Manufacturers (GAM) have partnered with the SME Education Foundation to provide a hands-on manufacturing program to select high school students across the state, through the Foundation’s SME PRIME program. Details about the SME PRIME program coming to Georgia high schools were presented to Georgia educators at the Georgia CTAE Administrators Winter Conference in Feburary. The initiative is being supported with a $4.5 million dollar grant from GaDOE to help ensure a qualified pipeline of talent for the state’s manufacturing industry, the organizations report.
Informed by local manufacturers, SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) builds manufacturing/engineering programs in high schools across the country, providing equipment, curriculum, teacher training and student scholarships, along with funding for manufacturing-focused extra-curricular activities and program sustainability. SME PRIME is focused on seven pathways: additive manufacturing, metrology/quality, CAD/CAM, industrial maintenance, machining & fabrication, mechatronics & robotics, and welding and is aligned with more than 30 industry-recognized certifications.
Nationwide, SME PRIME serves 8,000 students annually in 81 schools across 22 states. Of all students who graduate from the PRIME program, 89% enter a manufacturing field.
“SME PRIME is central to our commitment to inspiring, preparing, and supporting the manufacturing workforce,” says SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce. “We’re excited to work with the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Association of Manufacturers in bringing SME PRIME to Georgia’s students.”
Luce says SME PRIME does not take a cookie-cutter approach to education and will draw upon the expertise of GAM to help custom-tailor a manufacturing curriculum that meets the needs of Georgia’s manufacturers. The Foundation will work with GAM to engage its members in the curriculum development process.
“Our mission in Georgia is to prepare students for life—which includes connecting them with the skills they need to find meaningful work and a successful future,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods says. “This partnership will provide students with an educational experience that is hands-on and relevant, preparing students to participate in Georgia’s high-demand manufacturing industry.”
“Enticing students to think differently about manufacturing and create rewarding careers in our industry is among the biggest opportunities facing Georgia’s manufacturers,” says Lloyd Avram, president, Georgia Association of Manufacturers. “We are excited to partner with the SME Education Foundation and see its work as highly complementary to other regional workforce initiatives we will launch this coming year in partnership with other stakeholders.”
Georgia school districts are invited to apply to participate in the SME PRIME program by Feb. 22, 2023.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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