Macomb County, Michigan, businesses partnered with the SME Education Foundation and the Michigan Manufacturers Association in 2018 to make available education opportunities for high school students of Fraser High School in Fraser, Michigan. Dominion Technologies Group, I.F. Metalworks, Fori Automation, General Motors, Oakley Industries and Superior Heat Treat LLC collaborated to develop and launch an advanced manufacturing education program at Fraser.
“We want to expand and improve STEM education and workforce development outcomes,” said Michael Simcoe, GM vice president of Global Design. “We’re delighted to join with local businesses, government and Fraser Public Schools to provide opportunity for these students to learn hands-on skills through the PRIME curriculum — and to explore meaningful careers in Macomb County.”
Brent Brasure, career and technical education director at Fraser High School, notes that the demand for qualified, skilled people is increasing; the school saw a need and an opportunity. “With the great flight of the baby-boom generation into retirement, what are we going to do to fill those jobs? What can we do to provide thinkers that are capable of growing and evolving with changing industry?”
Brasure, 15 years into his career at Fraser High School (and a Fraser graduate himself), says that the collaboration allowing young people to explore career opportunities was enabled by engaged manufacturers, involved community partners and the SME Education Foundation: “The attractiveness of our partnership as an SME PRIME school was the ability of the SME Education Foundation team to connect us with manufacturing mega-powers.”
Students recognize the opportunity and are immersed in experiencing manufacturing — often starting as early as middle school to explore the pathways available to them.
“My dad and I were working on a truck one day, and he asked if I were considering engineering,” said Shelby Roberts, a Fraser High School junior studying welding. “I have always enjoyed tinkering; making things. The projects are inspiring — and girls can do them as well as the guys can.”
One of Shelby’s welding teachers, Austin Sellers (another Fraser High School graduate!) is gratified by bright, promising young students like Shelby. “I like the idea of teaching here; giving back to the program that helped me and shaped my own career. It’s a good feeling.”
“I’m excited to be part of a generation that will rebound the manufacturing world,” said Student T.J. DeAngelo, a Fraser High School junior. “I’m excited to witness the innovations to come.”