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Press Release

SME Education Foundation Awards Sustainability Funds to SME PRIME® Schools

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Nov. 28, 2023 — Over 30 SME PRIME® schools received financial awards from the SME Education Foundation to sustain their manufacturing and engineering programs this year.

Since 2011, SME PRIME has partnered private industry with academia to build custom manufacturing and engineering programs in high schools across the country, providing equipment, curriculum, teacher training, student scholarships, and funding for extra-curricular activities and program sustainability. SME PRIME is tailored to meet the needs of local manufacturers and is aligned with over 30 industry recognized certifications.

Rob Luce, Vice President, SME Education Foundationn

After receiving initial funding for program and curriculum development through SME PRIME, schools are able to apply to receive additional funds via sustainability awards to maintain their programs. A unique element of the SME PRIME program, the sustainability awards ensure the future of manufacturing and engineering educational opportunities for students in SME PRIME programs across the country.

“Without the sustainability award, the school department budget would not be able to cover supplies and materials needed for project-based education during the school year,” said Jeremy Case, technical education teacher at Grand Haven High School in Grand Haven, Michigan. “We have used these funds to purchase supplies and consumables for 3D printing projects, laser cutting and engraving projects, CNC router projects, engineering design projects, and upper-level Design and Manufacturing capstone projects.”

SME PRIME schools can apply annually for sustainability awards to fund additional equipment and supplies, instructional support resources, ongoing professional development, and/or student engagement activities that support manufacturing and engineering.

“It’s great to see so many SME PRIME schools applying for sustainability grants to continue the momentum of their programs,” said SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce. “The schools and their communities, including local manufacturers, are seeing the impact of SME PRIME and they want it to continue for years to come. This is how we can make a real difference in developing the manufacturing talent pipeline.”

Nearly one-third of the schools in the SME PRIME network of 93 schools will be receiving 2023 sustainability awards. Many are among the earliest of the SME PRIME schools, dating back to 2011. The institutions selected for 2023 SME PRIME sustainability awards for are:

  • The Academies of Racine, J.I. CASE High School, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Anna High School, Anna, Ohio
  • Apollo High School, St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Barberton High School (Four Cities Compact), Barberton, Ohio
  • Birch Run High School, Birch Run, Michigan
  • Capital High School, Helena, Montana
  • Cazenovia High School, Cazenovia, New York
  • Central Columbia High School, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
  • East Cooper Center for Advanced Studies, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Freeland High School, Freeland, Michigan
  • GI-TECH Mount Pleasant High School, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
  • Grand Haven High School, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Hemlock Public Schools, Hemlock, Michigan
  • Heritage High School, Saginaw, Michigan
  • Hollenstein Career and Technology Center, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Hopewell High School, Huntersville, North Carolina
  • Indiana County Technology Center, Indiana, Pennsylvania
  • Jackson Area Career Center, Jackson, Michigan
  • Kettering Fairmont High School, Kettering, Ohio
  • Merrill High School, Merrill, Michigan
  • Romeo High School, Washington, Michigan
  • Saginaw Career Complex, Saginaw, Michigan
  • Saint Michael-Albertville (STMA) High School, St. Michael, Minnesota
  • Summit Technology Academy, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
  • Swan Valley High School, Saginaw, Michigan
  • Wadsworth High School (Four Cities Compact), Wadsworth, Ohio
  • Walker Career Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Wheeling High School, Wheeling, Illinois
  • Whitehall High School, Whitehall, Michigan
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, Massachusetts

“Receiving sustainability funds for our SME PRIME program has helped immensely, especially with the increased cost of materials and tooling for manufacturing programs,” said Jim Weber, teacher at Capital High School in Helena, Montana. “Capital High School is very grateful for all the financial help SME has provided.”

“The support from the sustainability award has been a game-changer, helping us turn our vision into a reality. We managed to set up cutting-edge safety enclosures and lab spaces for our robotics lab, creating an environment where our students can freely experiment, learn, and innovate. We equipped the lab with top-notch ABB robotics technology, giving our students hands-on experience with advanced automation, robotics, and AI-driven systems,” said Michael Geist, teacher at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois. “We’re extremely grateful for the support we've received, as it's been the driving force behind our robotics lab and has created a nurturing environment for the next generation of talent.”

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