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Historic Donation will Expand SME PRIME in Michigan

The number of SME PRIME high schools is set to double after the SME Education Foundation received a $6 million donation from the State of Michigan’s approved Education Budget. The legislation was crafted with bipartisan support from the Michigan Legislature, including Foundation board member and state representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit). There are currently 17 SME PRIME schools providing curriculum tailored to give high school students hands-on training on modern, industry-standard equipment and allows them to explore futures in manufacturing, engineering and STEM-related careers.

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“Our SME PRIME schools have been a model; a unique approach to STEM education and career preparation implemented by scores of schools across the nation,” said SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce. “We’re grateful for Joe Tate’s leadership and Senator Schmidt’s and Stamas’ support in sharing our expertise with legislative colleagues to ensure opportunity for Michigan’s high school students.”

SME PRIME’s work and accomplishments were quickly realized by Tate after joining the Foundation’s board of directors earlier this year. Along with Representative Brad Paquette (R-Niles), Tate encouraged legislative colleagues to support the program — and to scale it to a statewide commitment. Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) and Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) played key roles in the bipartisan, bicameral effort.

Since 2011, SME PRIME schools have been initiated in 63 communities across 22 states, creating opportunities for more than 100,000 students. PRIME schools work with the Foundation’s education program managers to coordinate professional development for instructors, summer and extracurricular STEM opportunities for students, and increased scholarship eligibility and access.

“The SME Education Foundation, as the philanthropic arm of SME, has been responsible for inspiring and preparing students through scholarships and educational opportunities for decades,” said SME Executive Director and CEO Bob Willig. “They’ve earned this historic award through high standards and achievement. I’m proud of this exceptional recognition of their important work, their contributions to education and their commitment to young people — and ultimately our industry.”

Preparing The Next Manufacturing Workforce

SME PRIME directly enhances manufacturing and engineering talent by forming partnerships with industry that inform and provide modern equipment, a tailored curriculum and hands-on training for high school students across the country.