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Airport High School Students Receive Manufacturing and Engineering Education Through the SME Education Foundation

The manufacturing industry must fill 2.5 million jobs by 2030, retrain existing employees

CARLETON, Mich., October 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — About 130 students at Airport High School in Carleton now have access to new manufacturing education opportunities for the 2022-2023 school year through the SME Education Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SME, a 90-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing manufacturing technology and developing a skilled workforce.

An event celebrating the launch of Airport High School’s PRIME School program was held on 14 Octoberewhich provided additional details about the program, including educational content and involved participants.

Supported and informed by the private sector, SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) builds cost-effective and customized manufacturing/engineering programs in secondary schools across the country, with equipment, curriculum, professional development, scholarships, and manufacturing-focused extracurricular activities for students and teachers. Nationally, the SME Education Foundation provides hands-on production and technical education to more than 81 schools in 22 states.

SME Education Foundation received $6 million out of state Michigan as part of the 2021 education budget to scale up the SME PRIME initiative statewide. The award increases the number of schools participating in the unique partnership-driven SME PRIME initiative of manufacturers and teachers 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 production education and career preparation, implemented by dozens of schools across the country,” said SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce. “They include a curriculum plan with three core pathways for teaching metrology/quality, CAD/CAM and additive manufacturing or 3D printing, and an elective pathway tailored to the needs of the local industry.”

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

The Foundation will continue to work with the Michigan Manufacturers Association to seek input from local manufacturers to inform the development curriculum. Representing traditional and advanced manufacturing companies across the state, the MMA has been a partner in the development of Michigan SME PRIME schools and is instrumental in supporting the efforts of an industry faced with a limited talent pipeline and misconceptions on work environments and opportunities for young people.

“This significant expansion of the SME PRIME school initiative benefits students and Michigan manufacturers who need qualified, prepared workers,” said Mike Johnston, MMA’s executive vice president of Government Affairs & Workforce Development. “Michigan manufacturers need ambitious, creative and prepared young people who are ready to find their bright future in advanced manufacturing. We are proud to advocate for our manufacturing partners and for: Michigan students.”

The foundation’s 2021 SME PRIME Outcomes Report shows that 89% of SME PRIME seniors across the country have completed careers or training in manufacturing or engineering after graduation.

“Airport Community Schools understand the importance of preparing students to be college and career ready,” said John Krimmel, inspector of Airport Community Schools. “Our students and staff are fortunate to be able to benefit directly and in the future from the opportunities offered by the PRIME scholarship. Not only do our students receive extensive hands-on, state-of-the-art training applicable to manufacturing, but our community business partners will also reap the benefits of our graduates who are prepared to support the workforce they desperately need.”

About SME Education Foundation

The SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares and supports the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. Founded by SME in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has worked to bring students, educators, industry and communities together through its SME PRIME program; awards annual scholarships and initiates the Student Summit Event Series held at SME events North America. Visit the SME Education Foundation at: Follow @mfgeducation on Twitter or on

SOURCE SME Education Foundation


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