A new initiative from The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation aims to create strong partnerships between organizations, businesses and exemplary schools to provide a comprehensive, community-based approach to manufacturing education. PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) builds on a 5-year, $5.2 million investment in STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workforce development programs.
An initial investment of $156,00 will be divided among six model schools. Each will receive $10,000 for equipment and software updates as well as professional development; $1,000 to develop after-school technology competitions tied to organizations such as Skills USA and First Robotics; $5,000 for a Gateway Academy technology-based summer camp; and $10,000 in scholarship opportunities.
The six model schools were selected for the initiative’s first phase based on the following criteria: exemplary manufacturing curriculum and/or having a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) or Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) curriculum; skilled and dedicated instructors; engaged and active students; strong corporate or administrative support from the manufacturing community; and SME member involvement, including SME local chapters.
Selected schools include Wheeling High School, Chicago, Illinois; Kettering Fairmont High School, Dayton, Ohio; Walker Career Center, Indianapolis, Indiana; Summit Technology Academy, Kansas City, Missouri; Hawthorne High School, Los Angeles, California; and Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
“Apprenticeship and job training programs have largely disappeared, and orientation programs are limited. PRIME offers employers an opportunity to work with educators to describe real-world job functions and tailor coursework to their very specific skills needs,” says Bart A Aslin, CEO of the SME Education Foundation. “We invite organizations to contact us about PRIME and take advantage of an opportunity to grow their business.”