This year, the SME Education Foundation announced its 47th PRIME School at Starkweather Academy, part of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools in Plymouth, Michigan. Alpha USA, Clips and Clamps Industries, Link Engineering Co., Loc Performance Products Inc., Master Automatic Inc., Roush Industries Inc. and Skyway Precision Inc. formed the coalition of investors supporting the initiative.
SME PRIME schools directly address the manufacturing and engineering talent shortage by partnering with industry to inform and provide modern equipment, tailored curriculum and hands-on training to high schools across the country. The national program 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.
Speaking at the launch event for the Plymouth-Canton PRIME School, Wayne County, Michigan, Executive Warren Evans highlighted the collaboration between manufacturers and schools that build the foundation of SME PRIME schools. “What’s important about this program is the curriculum is designed with input from employers, which helps ensure we’re connecting students with viable career pathways as the manufacturing industry evolves.”
LINK Engineering Co., headquartered in Plymouth Michigan, was a key part of the coalition supporting and investing in the SME PRIME school program.
LINK places a high value on the importance of craftsmanship. Founder Herbert Link immigrated from Germany after attaining the certification as a master craftsman. Since 1935, LINK has built on that strong foundation of craftsmanship and now operates 17 facilities in seven countries around the globe with over 600 employees.
LINK provides innovative, custom test solutions, including the design, development, manufacture and support of test equipment as well as providing custom vehicle testing services in city traffic, on the track and in the laboratory.
“To maintain our growth and the quality of service we provide, LINK is always looking for energized and skilled talent,” said Jerry Verkerke, LINK Engineering vice president of operations. “At LINK, we recognize the critical importance of supporting and training the next generation of craftsman in skilled trade positions such as machinists, electricians, machine builders, fabricators, field service technicians and test technicians.”
Verkerke affirms that LINK is excited to participate in building the SME PRIME program. “The SME PRIME initiative provides a gateway for students to get into the skilled trades and support highly skilled positions at global companies like Link Engineering.”