Grant to Support Advanced Manufacturing Education

Grant will fund SME Education Foundation Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) program at both sites for 2012-2013


DEARBORN, Mich., INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., August 20, 2012- If the outlook of U.S. manufacturing is dependent on the quality of its future workforce, the view from Indianapolis certainly looks bright. With one school heading into its second year of national recognition via SME Education Foundation's Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) program, and a second ready to begin its first, the city is poised to be a major contributor to the manufacturing talent pool.

In a presentation on August 17, 2012, 3M awarded Walker Career Center and McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology a $10,000 grant per school to fund the programs. "We think that the grant is a fantastic opportunity for both programs to grow their classroom experiences and to engage those students that aren't sure if PLTW is the right program for them. Our bigger opportunity is determining the methods that allow us to share our career experiences with the future workforce that these wonderful programs are developing. The vision we have for this partnership includes volunteeringin the classroom where possible; manufacturing site tours

to engage the students in what careers are available, including the faculty and students in new equipment installations to expose them to new technologies; and developing projects or challenges that allow the students to develop innovative solutions to real world problems. We look forward to this journey with both Walker and Mckenzie's PLTW programs," said Robert Hoffman, Plant Manager 3M Aerospace.

The PRIME program was launched in fall 2011 in six states including Indiana. PRIME is designed to create strong partnerships between exemplary schools, businesses and organizations. Schools are nominated and selected based on a set of criteria including: an exemplary manufacturing curriculum which offers technology-based courses including Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM); skilled and dedicated instructors and administrators; engaged and active students; and strong corporate support from the local manufacturing community.

Walker Career Center (now entering its second year as PRIME) and McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology (a new PRIME school for 2012-2013) meet all of the above criteria. Said Bart Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation, "PRIME is an integral part of our investment in STEM education. The program is specifically designed to target three critical areas of focus: transforming manufacturing education, changing public perception of manufacturing and addressing the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. We feel that our investment in both of these schools will go a long way toward helping us to achieve these goals. We couldn't be more impressed with the staff, the curriculum and the enthusiasm of the students. The pledge of support from 3M makes it all possible."

The funding from 3M will help both schools to update equipment and software, provide professional development for instructors, support their further involvement in competitions, provide scholarships for post-secondary education and host technology-based summer day camps.

Both of the schools implement a STEM-based approach guided by the Indianapolis-based Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum to prepare students for post-secondary opportunities. Science, technology, engineering and mathematic content are embedded throughout its courses with emphasis placed on reading and writing in all career areas.

The manufacturing labs and curriculum were designed in cooperation with industry partners. Students have access to state-of-the-art equipment that meets or exceeds industry standards along with the latest technologies. Each facility provides students interested in engineering and manufacturing with hands-on design experience and a competitive edge for work or degree programs after high school.

Students and their instructors will also be provided access to a new website,, funded by the SME Education Foundation. The site offers links to advanced manufacturing companies and access to real-world professionals, their job descriptions and skill requirements.

"The continued support from the SME Education Foundation and 3M will take our program to the next level by providing our students with the real-world engineering and manufacturing knowledge they will need to be successful, contributing members of our community," said Lou Anne Schwenn, director, Walker Career Center. "The PRIME program exemplifies the idea that cooperation between schools, corporations and the communities they serve is beneficial for all."


About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 84,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information, visit or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

About 3M Community Giving

3M Community Giving consists of product donations and cash grants by 3M and the 3M Foundation and bolstered by employee and retiree volunteerism. In 2011, over $60.9 million was awarded to education and charitable organizations. For more information, visit

About Walker Career Center:

The Walker Career Center, established in 1976, is attached to the Warren Central High School, Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, serves over 3000 students in grades 9-12 and offers twenty-four career and technical education programs equipped with state-of the-art technology delivered by a quality staff. Each program offers excellent instruction and most programs lead to an industry certification or college dual credit which in most cases, is free to their students. The Metropolitan School District of Warren Township district serves 11,500 students K-12.

The Walker Career Center has been recognized by the Indiana Department of Education for its outstanding programs, teachers and student accomplishments and serves students from Warren Central, New Palestine, Greenfield Central, Mount Vernon, Triton Central and Morristown high schools. Programs allow students to make real world connections including collaborations with local engineers in their FIRST Robotics program, operating a student run restaurant, working on customer's cars, building houses, running a cosmetology salon, or completing internships in business and industry during their senior year. Visit Walker at

About McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology:

McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology is a career and technical high school supporting students from Lawrence Central High School, Lawrence North High School and CTE students from Lawrence Township, Indiana. The McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology houses state-of-the art equipment, materials and curriculum. The center embraces rigorous academic programs and diverse technological career courses, which prepare its students for all post-secondary education-two & four year colleges, military service and advanced technical training in a variety of business, medical and industrial fields. A high concentration of our student population is involved with Project Lead the Way courses in pre-engineering and biomedical science. Students receive dual college credit and national certifications in their fields of study.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education curricular programs used in schools. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, PLTW exists to prepare students for the global economy through its world-class curriculum, high quality professional development, and an engaged network of educators, students, universities and professionals. PLTW's comprehensive curriculum has been collaboratively designed by PLTW teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators to promote critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving skills in students. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success. More than 4,700 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit

About the SME Education Foundation:

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at Also visit our award-winning website for young people at, and for information on advanced manufacturing careers.

Media Contacts: Bart A. Aslin, Chief Executive Officer, SME Education Foundation, 313.425-3300,;



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