SME Education Foundation: Challenging Times Lead to Expanding Opportunities November 22, 2021 by Rob Luce, Vice President, SME Education Foundation The year 2021 was a record year for the SME Education Foundation. We experienced a number of “firsts,” including: $6 Million Donation. The SME PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) schools initiative received a $6 million appropriation — a record amount — from the state of Michigan. This funding will double the number of PRIME schools throughout the state from 17 to over 30. SME PRIME Outcomes Report. The first-ever SME PRIME Outcomes Report — based on data from participating schools — showed that 89% of PRIME school graduates directly entered the manufacturing workforce, trained in an apprenticeship position or pursued postsecondary education in engineering or manufacturing disciplines. SME PRIME Sustaining Funds. A new initiative that earmarked $1 million to sustain fully developed SME PRIME schools, the Foundation awarded its first sustainability grants to seven SME PRIME high schools: Barberton and Wadsworth, in Ohio; Central Columbia, in Pennsylvania; Washington Park, in Wisconsin; and Grand Haven, Romeo and Whitehall, in Michigan. Record Scholarship Applicants, Awardees and Award Amounts. The Foundation awarded $722,700, a record amount, to graduating high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students. And as part of a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, a record number of applications and scholarships were received from and awarded to women and/or minorities. Our scholarship application process for 2022-23 is now open. If you are an engineering professional or educator with a STEM background, please consider volunteering to serve as a scholarship application reviewer for our online review process. Due to the annual increase in our scholarship applications and awards, your participation is more important and appreciated than ever. To apply, click here.