Ford Next Generation Learning and SME PRIME: Synergy and Connection May 16, 2019 by SME Education Foundation Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) supports communities in preparing students through career academies, increased collaboration between schools and employer partners, and implementation of problem-based case learning. Working with the Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford NGL is transforming education in a growing international network of communities. Ford NGL has partnered with the SME Education Foundation through a Ford Motor Company Fund investment in developing an SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) curriculum at Romeo High School in Romeo, Michigan. SME PRIME Schools bring together educators and industry professionals to provide high school students with advanced manufacturing career pathways, inspiring and informing their interest and awareness in manufacturing. The national initiative provides students with practical experience, knowledge and skills using state-of-the-art technology and equipment while allowing companies to support the career direction of youth through mentoring, internships and job shadowing. Scott Palmer, community coach for Ford NGL at Romeo, describes the initiative: “Ford NGL guides a collaborative network of stakeholders to advance student, community, and workforce success following a career academy model,” Palmer said. “Teachers of English, math, and science are part of this model, along with technical education. Included is an intentional and structured connection to business and industry.” Ford Motor Company’s Michigan Proving Ground in Romeo provides one opportunity for that connection. “We want to allow students to be influenced and engaged with Ford employees; to let them know what careers are possible and what those careers look like,” said Patrice Washington, student relations and STEAM coordinator for Ford NGL. On the natural fit with the SME Educations Foundation and SME PRIME, Scott Palmer says “One of the things that lead us to this partnership is the connection; the similarities in philosophy between Ford NGL and SME PRIME. We saw a lot of synergy and connection.” Improve the future of the manufacturing workforce — and of manufacturing itself — by investing in SME PRIME schools or encouraging your employees to serve as mentors. Contact us now to find out how you can maximize your investment.