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Press Release

Expansion of SME PRIME Program to Additional Michigan High Schools Announced at Troy High School Manufacturing Day Event

ribbon-cutting ceremonyTROY, MICH. – OCT. 6, 2023 – The SME Education Foundation announced an expansion of its public/private partnership with the State of Michigan today, powering its SME Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) program in 16 additional high schools throughout the state. Announced at Troy High School's SME PRIME program celebration, the program provides students with manufacturing education and opens doors to career pathways post-graduation. SME PRIME’s latest expansion brings the program to a total of 49 schools throughout Michigan.

Students, teachers and community partners joined representatives of SME, Troy School District and federal, state, and local political officials to celebrate Troy High School’s SME PRIME program and showcase classroom projects, equipment and involved participants. The development of Troy High School’s program was announced in 2021 as part of the initial public/private partnership between the SME Education Foundation and the State of Michigan.

“We strongly believe manufacturing holds the key to economic growth and prosperity here in Michigan and beyond,” said Rob Luce, Vice President, SME Education Foundation. “That starts with educating the future workforce and providing hands-on opportunities to encourage young adults to continue their manufacturing education at community college or a four-year university, or to enter the workforce directly after high school graduation.”

Informed by private industry, SME PRIME builds custom manufacturing and engineering programs in high schools across the country, providing equipment, curriculum and professional development. SME PRIME supports engagement in manufacturing-focused extracurricular activities for students and teachers as well as student applications for scholarship funding through the SME Education Foundation. After initial development funding, SME PRIME schools are eligible for sustainability grants to maintain their programs going forward.

At the press conference announcing the expansion of the program, U.S. Representative Haley Stevens (D-MI 11th District) and Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) and backed the program by emphasizing the importance of growing high-paying jobs in Michigan.

“I am so proud to work with the SME Education Foundation as we continue to push the importance of the manufacturing industry to the next generation,” said U.S. Representative Haley Stevens (MI-11). “Today’s visit for National Manufacturing Day marks my 150th visit for my Manufacturing Monday initiative and I will continue my efforts of strengthening Michigan’s manufacturing development and workforce.”

Speaker Tate Said, “A skilled workforce is essential to the health of our economy and that is why the partnership between the SME Education Foundation and the State of Michigan is so important. SME PRIME provides students with the opportunity to develop specialized skills, starting them on a career path in Michigan’s manufacturing industry before they even graduate high school.  The program is an excellent example of what can be achieved when we work together and think outside the box to deliver options for students.”

SME PRIME provides a robust learning experience that aligns with over 30 industry-recognized certifications. Currently, there are nearly 550,000 manufacturing positions unfilled in the U.S. That shortage will grow to 2.5 million unfilled jobs by 2030. SME PRIME addresses this critical shortage by providing schools with a custom program that meets the needs of local manufacturers. To date, SME PRIME is in 93 schools across 23 states, serving 9,000 students. Most importantly, 91% of SME PRIME seniors pursue manufacturing post-graduation.

SME PRIME is currently located in 33 schools throughout Michigan, paving the way to high-paying jobs for students – an average of over $85,000 annually for the state’s manufacturing workers according to the U.S. Census Bureau – without running up massive student debt.

The students at Troy High School will benefit from a curriculum plan that provides education and hands-on training in high-demand skill sets including Additive Manufacturing, Metrology/Quality, Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing, as well as Machining and Fabrication.

"The Troy School District is thrilled to partner with the SME Education Foundation to bring wonderful learning opportunities to our students through the PRIME program," stated Dr. Rich Machesky, superintendent. "This initiative aligns with our commitment to providing students with cutting-edge educational opportunities that prepare them for success in the modern manufacturing industry. By equipping our high schools with state-of-the-art equipment and industry-aligned curriculum, we are empowering students to embark on exciting careers and contribute to the economic growth of Michigan."