In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has closed schools around the country, the Arconic Foundation is investing $25,000 in the SME Education Foundation’s effort to ensure that online learning provided by Tooling U-SME becomes available to thousands of high school students in 12 manufacturing disciplines, including additive manufacturing, mechatronics and smart manufacturing.
The Arconic Foundation’s $25,000 investment in the COVID-19 Campaign isn’t the first time the foundation — the philanthropic arm of Arconic Inc. — has teamed up with the SME Education Foundation to support manufacturing education. Since 2011, the Arconic Foundation has been a dedicated supporter of the SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) initiative — a collaborative network of students, educators and industry professionals that inspires and prepares students for careers in manufacturing.
As a partner with the SME Education Foundation in several regions around the country, the Arconic Foundation is focused on growing the pipeline of advanced manufacturing talent in the communities around its facilities. Students at PRIME schools gain practical experience and skills using state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and teachers at the schools receive industry-relevant professional development — ensuring that students will be able to pursue career pathways to become engineers and skilled technologists.
In 2017, the Arconic Foundation added to its original PRIME investment of more than $1 million, providing the SME Education Foundation with a $300,000 grant to fund the implementation of PRIME programs in high schools near Arconic plants in Pennsylvania and Michigan — specifically, at Central Columbia High School, in Bloomsburg, Pa., and Whitehall High School, in Whitehall, Mich.
Another example of the Arconic Foundation’s commitment to manufacturing education is its support of the Four Cities Compact, a career-tech planning consortium composed of four east Ohio PRIME schools near Arconic’s operations in Barberton, Ohio. More than 1,000 students at Barberton, Wadsworth, Copley and Norton high schools are benefiting from tailored training curriculum, state-of-the-art equipment, industry-recognized certifications and mentoring opportunities with Arconic employees.
In addition to funding SME Education Foundation programs, Arconic Foundation is also a key supporter of the SME Education Foundation Student Summit event series, which brought thousands of high school students to industry events and competitions in 2019.