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Press Release

Manufacturing and Engineering Educational Opportunities Extended to Students in 12 Georgia High Schools Through the SME Education Foundation

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Oct. 10, 2023 — Students throughout Georgia will have access to new advanced manufacturing technology and training through the SME Education Foundation. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and Georgia Association of Manufacturers (GAM) have partnered with the Foundation to provide a unique, industry-informed, hands-on manufacturing program for students at 12 high schools across the state, through the Foundation’s SME PRIME® program. Collectively, the 12 selected schools enroll over 14,000 students, casting a wide net of access for youth to community-relevant manufacturing and engineering educational experiences. The programs are being funded with a $4.5 million dollar grant from GaDOE, purposed at helping to develop a qualified pipeline of talent for the state’s growing manufacturing industry.

Rob Luce, Vice President, SME Education Foundation

The 12 Georgia schools introducing SME PRIME to their students this year include: 

  • Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy, Whitfield
  • Calhoun High School, Calhoun
  • South Forsyth High School, Cumming
  • Gainesville High School, Gainesville
  • West Hall High School, Oakwood
  • Flowery Branch High School, Flowery Branch
  • Monroe Area High School, Monroe
  • Newton College and Career Academy, Covington
  • THINC College and Career Academy, LaGrange
  • Liberty College and Career Academy, Hinesville
  • Bryan County High School, Pembroke
  • Jones County High School, Gray

Informed by private industry, SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) 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.

SME PRIME provides a robust learning experience that aligns with over 30 industry-recognized certifications. Currently, there are nearly 550,000 U.S. manufacturing positions unfilled. That shortage will grow to 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. SME PRIME addresses this critical shortage by providing schools with resources for instruction on additive manufacturing, computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing, industrial maintenance, machining and fabrication, mechatronics and robotics, metrology and quality, and welding. 

“Coordinated by our staff of education program managers, and in partnership with educators and industry participants, SME PRIME provides a unique approach to manufacturing education and career preparation to schools across the nation,” said SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce. 

The Foundation is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to providing economic advancement opportunities to underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged populations. Within Georgia, more than half of the high schools selected to participate in the SME PRIME program are Title 1 schools, and 56% of the students reflect populations historically underrepresented within manufacturing and engineering. 

SME PRIME is in 93 schools across 23 states, serving 9,000 students. Most importantly, 91% of SME PRIME seniors pursue manufacturing post-graduation. 

Several of the Georgia PRIME schools attended Additive Manufacturing training with SME at Stratasys’ U.S. headquarters in Minnesota this July