The Academies of Racine at Horlick High School, part of the Racine Unified School District, has partnered with the SME Education Foundation to make manufacturing and engineering education and career opportunities available for students via the Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) schools initiative.
Made possible through funding from Haribo of America and the Racine Community Foundation, Horlick High School students now have new opportunities to explore career preparation and growth.
SME PRIME schools directly address the manufacturing and engineering talent shortage by partnering with industry to provide modern equipment, a tailored curriculum and hands-on training to high schools across the country. SME PRIME students learn about manufacturing and engineering technology and processes through an industry-informed curriculum tailored to meet the needs of local industry.
“This partnership provides industry-relevant education and training to the Academies of Racine at Horlick Pathways in Manufacturing and STEM for our students,” said Alex DeBaker, executive director of Academies for the Racine Unified School District. “Our collaboratively designed curriculum enables students to have a unique opportunity to explore manufacturing, engineering and STEM, expanding their career opportunities after graduation.”
The SME PRIME program works with local manufacturers to develop and access a pool of skilled local talent who have been trained — and often certified — to fill specific roles at their respective companies, providing a direct community benefit.
“SME PRIME schools are central to our commitment to inspiring, preparing and supporting young people,” said Rob Luce, SME Education Foundation vice president. “Our partnership with Horlick High School is an achievement, and we’re proud to join with Haribo and the Racine Community Foundation to welcome these committed educators to our national team.”
Horlick High School joins the other Academies of Racine high schools, Park and Case, in implementation of the SME PRIME program. Case High School initiated implementation in 2019 through funding from Putzmeister; Plastic Parts Inc.; Butterbuds; JC Styberg; Twin Disc; Racine Community Foundation; SC Johnson; and the Green Bay Packer Foundation.
“This initiative to interest and educate young people in a STEM foundation and skills are critically important in developing future achievers in our communities,” said Valerie Freeman, robotics pathways teacher at Park High School and a member of the SME Education Foundation board. “We’re committed to providing instruction and guidance to all students. With support from the community, manufacturers and the Foundation, these students have a unique and expansive opportunity.”
Since 2011, SME PRIME schools have been initiated in 62 communities across 23 states, creating opportunities for more than 100,000 students. In 2019 and 2020 alone, the SME Education Foundation partnered with 14 new schools to create custom programs through partnerships with private industry.
Located in southeastern Wisconsin, the Racine Unified School District is the fifth-largest school district in the state, serving nearly 17,000 students.