Macomb County, Michigan, earned the distinction of creating the newest manufacturing jobs in the nation in a recent U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics report. There are employment opportunities, but a lack of skilled labor often prevents filling those positions. The SME PRIME school initiative addresses that skills gap by developing the workforce through needs-based hands-on learning and fostering a partnership between manufacturers and high schools.
Business and industry representatives gathered at Center Line High School to hear from Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Center Line Public Schools Superintendent Eve Kaltz, Michigan Manufacturers Association Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Johnston and Rob Luce, vice president of the SME Education Foundation. SME PRIME Schools advance manufacturing education by supporting students with advanced manufacturing equipment, relevant training and curriculum. Each SME PRIME School works to address specific local workforce needs, which are informed by local manufacturers.
Students enrolled in SME PRIME School programs across the nation follow manufacturing career pathways to employment opportunities or higher educational opportunities at a post-secondary institution. Robotics and welding were identified as two career pathways in need of qualified applicants within Macomb County; additional pathways will be discovered as the program continues to take shape and more manufacturers join the initiative and additional needs-assessments have been performed.
Manufacturing companies take notice: If your talent acquisition is affected by the skills gap, let us know.