Six local businesses in Macomb County announced a partnership this week with MMA, the SME PRIME® Program and Fraser High School to make available education opportunities for local students to pursue careers in manufacturing.
Dominion Technologies Group, Fori Automation, General Motors, I.F. Metalworks, Oakley Industries and Superior Heat Treat, LLC will collaborate through SME’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) initiative to develop and launch an advanced manufacturing education program at Fraser High School beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.
“We all need to recognize and compliment the tremendous leadership and future vision of local manufacturers and Superintendent Richards in working together to build a talent pipeline that will create career pathways for students for many years to come,” said Mike Johnston, MMA vice president of government affairs. “Talent has become a primary barrier to growth for manufacturing, the largest sector of the Michigan economy. This remarkable partnership is key to driving Michigan’s future.”
PRIME builds a collaborative network of students, educators and industry professionals to provide high school students with advanced manufacturing career pathways, inspiring and informing their interest and awareness in manufacturing.
“We want to expand and improve STEM education and workforce development outcomes,” said Michael Simcoe, GM vice president of Global Design. “We’re delighted to join with local businesses, government and Fraser Public Schools to provide opportunity for these students to learn hands-on skills through the PRIME curriculum — and to explore meaningful careers in Macomb County.”
The national program provides students with practical experience, knowledge and skills using state-of-the-art technology and equipment, while allowing companies to support the career direction of youth through mentoring, internships and job shadowing.
“This partnership signals the beginning of a model collaboration right here in Southeast Michigan,” said Jeff Krause, SME executive director and CEO. “We’re very proud to now include Fraser Public Schools students in the SME PRIME initiative as we continue to expand the program across the country.”
Alliances with local manufacturing associations play a major role in connecting business and education within the manufacturing community. The collaboration is a result of the MMA’s partnership with SME, now in its second year, to help boost Michigan’s strong manufacturing presence and provide much-needed support to an industry seeking a large influx of prepared, qualified young people.
“It started with one phone call: I wanted our schools to be a part of the opportunities the SME Education Foundation PRIME schools initiative provides,” said David M. Richards, PhD, superintendent of Fraser Public Schools. “The support we’ve received from our business community, county government and the state in this quest has been phenomenal; our students and community will benefit as a direct result.”
This article originally appeared in the 5/1/18 issue of MFG Voice.