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Press Release

SME Education Foundation, Saginaw Intermediate School District, and the State of Michigan Team to Inspire, Prepare High School Students for Careers in Manufacturing

Initiative funded by the Michigan Marshall Plan for Talent with support from the Michigan Manufacturers Association 

Seven schools within the Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD) became part of the SME Education Foundation PRIME school initiative with a grant from Michigan’s Marshall Plan for Talent. Legislation signed into law in June 2019, the Marshall Plan for Talent, is a partnership between educators, employers and other stakeholders that was designed to improve the state’s talent pipeline.

The SME PRIME initiative will celebrate its formal launch on Friday, Oct. 15 at an event at the Saginaw Career Complex (2102 Weiss St., Saginaw, MI 48602). Speakers will include Michigan State Senator Ken Horn, the SME Education Foundation, Saginaw Intermediate School District officials, and Saginaw area manufacturers.

Through the Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) initiative, schools are provided a curriculum tailored to give students hands-on training on modern, industry-standard equipment that allows them to explore futures in manufacturing, engineering and STEM-related careers aligned with manufacturers' needs. Since 2011, SME PRIME schools have been initiated in 63 communities across 22 states, creating opportunities for thousands of students with 17 SME PRIME schools located in Michigan. 

“SME PRIME schools are central to our commitment of inspiring, preparing and supporting young people,” said Rob Luce, SME Education Foundation vice president. “The work done through this partnership with Saginaw schools, employers and the State of Michigan is groundbreaking, and underscores a common need, purpose and direction.” 

Key metrics reviewed from schools responding to a recent study indicate that the SME PRIME schools initiative has resulted in 89% of students directly entering the manufacturing workforce, training in an apprenticeship position or pursuing postsecondary education in engineering or manufacturing disciplines. 

SME PRIME resources at the Saginaw Career Complex will serve participating schools within the Saginaw ISD.  An additional 6 institutions provide resources to students in their respective communities at Swan Valley High School, Birch Run High School, Hemlock High School, Freeland High School, Heritage High School and Merrill High School. 

“Our district works every day to prepare and provide opportunities for all of our students,” said Jenny Geno, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education for Saginaw ISD. “We now have the curriculum and equipment to get students excited about careers in manufacturing!” 

There are more than 10,000 manufacturing employees in Saginaw.