SME Foundation Supports High School Manufacturing, Engineering Education Efforts

Manufacturing industry needs to fill 2.5 million jobs by 2030, upskill existing workers, according to SME.

Manufacturing industry needs to fill 2.5 million jobs by 2030, upskill existing workers, according to SME.

Airport High School in Carleton, MI, benefits from grant provisions from the SME Education Foundation. Image courtesy of Airport High School.

Approximately 130 students at Airport High School in Carleton, MI, now have access to new manufacturing education opportunities for the 2022-23 school year through the SME Education Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SME. This Foundation is a 90-year-old nonprofit association committed to advancing manufacturing technology and developing a skilled workforce, it claims.

An event celebrating the launch of Airport High School's PRIME School program was conducted on Oct. 14th, which included additional details about the program, including educational content and involved participants.

Supported and informed by private industry, SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) builds cost-effective and tailored manufacturing/engineering programs in high schools across the country, providing equipment, curriculum, professional development, scholarships, and manufacturing-focused extra-curricular activities to students and teachers. Nationwide, the SME Education Foundation provides hands-on manufacturing and engineering education to more than 81 schools in 22 states.

The SME Education Foundation received $6 million from the state of Michigan as part of the 2021 education budget to scale the SME PRIME initiative across the state. The award increases the number of schools participating in the manufacturer/educator partnership-driven SME PRIME initiative by 16—there were already 17 SME PRIME schools in Michigan.

“Coordinated by our staff of highly qualified education program managers, SME PRIME schools are a model; a unique approach to manufacturing education and career preparation implemented by scores of schools across the nation,” says SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce. “They include a curriculum plan of three foundational pathways teaching Metrology/Quality, CAD/CAM, and additive manufacturing or 3D printing, and include one elective pathway that is informed by local industry needs.”

Luce said that the Foundation is focused on helping secondary education students start careers in manufacturing and fill an estimated 2.5 million jobs that will be available by 2030.

“Airport Community Schools understands the importance of preparing students to become college and career ready,” says John Krimmel, superintendent of Airport Community Schools. “Our students and staff members are fortunate to be able to take advantage of the opportunities the PRIME grant will bring immediately and in the future. Not only will our students receive extensive hands-on, state-of-the-art training that is applicable in the manufacturing field, but our community business partners also will reap the benefits of our graduates being prepared to support the workforce they desperately need.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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