The SME PRIME Model: Building Opportunity
by Rob Luce, Vice President, SME Education Foundation
Foundation for the Future. That was the title of our annual report this spring and as each day passes the SME Education Foundation continues to develop a solid base for future expansion. The State of Michigan’s recent $6 million award to the SME PRIME schools initiative is proof-positive of the success of our model; a unique approach to STEM education and career preparation that has already been implemented by scores of schools across the nation.
Michigan’s SME PRIME will see a doubling of the number of schools bearing the SME PRIME distinction throughout the state. The State of Michigan’s commitment to providing tailored curriculum that gives students hands-on training on modern, industry-standard equipment underscores the interest in and desire to strengthen the educational pursuits of young people. The SME PRIME initiative also encompasses professional development for instructors, summer and extracurricular STEM opportunities for students, and increased scholarship eligibility and access.
We’re grateful for State Representative Joe Tate’s (D-Detroit) leadership. Joe, aware of the work and accomplishments of SME PRIME through his participation on our Foundation board, encouraged legislative colleagues to support the program — and to scale it to a statewide commitment. Indeed, that scaling has provided a model for other states to follow in their quest to provide STEM and CTE opportunities through SME PRIME.
The future is bright for the Foundation’s SME PRIME initiative. Our highly qualified Foundation education program managers are equipping instructors at PRIME schools with the knowledge and industry-standard certification to enrich and prepare high school students’ successful journey toward a manufacturing, engineering and STEM-related careers. The Michigan Manufacturers Association also played a significant role in the State’s support for SME PRIME.
SME PRIME is now preparing for the future in a transformational way. Be on the lookout for more success stories and be sure to share the good news as the Foundation continues to prepare young people and provide opportunity in manufacturing.