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STEM Manufacturing Education Rewarded with PRIME Funding

Strong partnerships among organizations, businesses and exemplary schools through PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) program providing a comprehensive, community-based approach to manufacturing education.

SME Education Foundation Supports Students
SME Education Foundation Supports Students

The SME Education Foundation ( has announced funding to nine model schools in eight states through its PRIME Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education Program for the academic school year, 2012-2013.

PRIME, a community-based approach to manufacturing education, is part of a commitment by the SME Education Foundation to address the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Model schools funded by PRIME offer STEM-based curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to prepare young people for highly skilled jobs with lucrative potential. One of the richest sources of employment and economic growth will be jobs requiring a solid STEM education.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is expected to grow by 29 percent, adding 2.1 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020.

PRIME sites for 2013 include: Alabama: Calera High School, Calera, Ala., California: Esperanza High School, Anaheim, Calif.; Petaluma High School, Petaluma, Calif.; Indiana: McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, Indianapolis, Ind.; Iowa: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Massachusetts: Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield, Mass.; Michigan: Jackson Area Career Center, Jackson, Mich.; Ohio: Centerville High School, Dayton, Ohio, and Wisconsin: Bradley Technical High School, Milwaukee, Wis.

Additional school support

PRIME was created to provide additional support and resources for schools offering an exemplary STEM-based manufacturing curriculum, skilled and energetic instructors, engaged and active students, strong administrative support, and support from the local manufacturing community. 

Over a three year period, schools given the PRIME designation will receive assistance in creating and fostering strong partnerships with the local manufacturing base to provide job shadows, mentoring and internships. In addition, PRIME schools will receive funding to support post-secondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors and a STEM-based summer camp for middle school students. Access to a new website,, funded by the SME Education Foundation, provides links to advanced manufacturing companies whose real-world professionals provide first-hand job descriptions and requirements for highly skilled jobs.

"Our intent is to change outdated perceptions of manufacturing and the careers it offers," says Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. "Our funding is designed to reinforce technical education and provide students with relevant real-world connections to ensure a pipeline of more qualified employees. We’ve had great response from local businesses and manufacturers who are now working with schools to help tailor coursework to reflect highly-skilled, real-world jobs.”

In 2011-2012 model schools included: California: Hawthorne High School, Los Angeles, Calif., Illinois: Wheeling High School, Chicago, Ill.; Indiana: Walker Career Center, Indianapolis, Ind.; Missouri: Summit Technology Academy, Kansas City, Mo.; Ohio: Kettering Fairmont High School, Dayton, Ohio, and Oklahoma: Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City, Okla. 

To-date, the SME Education Foundation has provided funding of more than $285,000 through PRIME to model high schools to help manufacturing and its advanced technologies drive the economic vitality of local communities. This initiative builds on a five-year, $5.2 million investment in their STEM-based manufacturing education workforce development programs.

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