MMA and SME Education Foundation provide manufacturing educational opportunities in Edwardsburg High School
LANSING (May 23, 2023) — The Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) joined together last week with students, teachers and the SME Education Foundation to celebrate the launch of new manufacturing educational opportunities through SME PRIME® at Edwardsburg High School.
The Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) initiative partners private industry with academia to build custom manufacturing and engineering programs in high schools across the country, providing equipment, curriculum, professional development for educators, scholarships for students and funding for extra-curricular activities and program sustainability. SME PRIME is tailored to meet the needs of local manufacturers and is aligned with over 30 industry-recognized certifications.
PRIME’s introduction into Edwardsburg High School will impact the more than 800 students currently in attendance. The core PRIME programs—which are offered at every PRIME school—include Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D Printing), CAD/CAM, and Metrology/Quality. The PRIME specialization pathway at Edwardsburg is Machining & Fabrication.
“MMA has worked closely with the SME Education Foundation on engagement with area manufacturers to guide the unique, research-informed SME PRIME Curriculum Plan developed for Edwardsburg High School,” said Bill Rayl, MMA Executive Director of Workforce Solutions.
A 2022 state appropriation of $6 million provided funding to develop SME PRIME at Edwardsburg High School and 15 additional schools in the state. This funding doubled the number of SME PRIME in Michigan schools to 33. To date, SME PRIME is in 81 schools across 22 states, serving 8,000 students. As of 2022, 91 percent of SME PRIME seniors pursue manufacturing post-high-school — either through a manufacturing-related degree or by directly entering the workforce.
“This significant expansion of the SME PRIME school initiative benefits students and Michigan manufacturers that need qualified, prepared employees,” said Mike Johnston, MMA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Workforce Development. “Michigan manufacturers need ambitious, creative and prepared young people ready to find their bright futures in advanced manufacturing. We are proud to advocate for our manufacturing partners and Michigan students.”
Manufacturers need people with the right skills and MMA works in partnership with numerous organizations to help provide training and educational opportunities as our industry competes in the global economy. More skilled workers are needed as manufacturing discovers, develops and implements new advanced technologies. The gap between supply and demand of talented manufacturing employees is a primary barrier to industry competitiveness.
SME PRIME is a key weapon for the state of Michigan in developing the talented employees demanded by the advanced manufacturing sector. It is a clear fact that the state that wins the talent development battle will win the economic war as states compete for technologically transformational manufacturing capital investment.
Learn more about the MMA and SME PRIME partnership at mimfg.org or to schedule a call with MMA's Mike Johnston or Bill Rayl, contact MMA’s Delaney McKinley at 517-487-8530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures: Instructor Mike Larson works with two of Innovation Central’s high school seniors in the SME PRIME® program. (click to download full resolution)
Left to right: Damon Hummel (Edwardsburg HS PRIME teacher), Rep. Brad Paquette, Edwardsburg student (name not provided), Ryan Markel (Edwardsburg HS Principal), Rep. Steve Carra, retiring Edwardsburg Public Schools Superintendent Jim Knoll.
Edwardsburg High School students checking out the newest equipment during the SME PRIME launch.
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