Skip to content

PRIME Stories

Troy High School Launches Hands-On Machining and Fabrication Program With Help of SME PRIME

ths-9-23_2PRIME.jpgBy providing an extensive package of manufacturing- and engineering-related educational resources, the SME PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) program has enabled Troy High School to bring a near-decade-long conversation about expanding the school’s career and technical education (CTE) offerings to fruition this year.

As part of a 2021 $6 million appropriation from the state of Michigan to the SME Education Foundation, Troy High received state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, including CNC mini mills from Haas, manual mills, lathes and fabrication equipment, a robotic arm from Fanuc, a Tetrix robotics kit to support FIRST robotics competitions, a precision measurement and instrumentation tool kit from Snap-on Inc., an industry-standard Stratasys 3D printer and a Verisurf CMM with laser scanners.

“It’s launched our resources to a level that I could never have imagined, and it’s extremely exciting about what this is going to provide kids — not only equipment, but industry experts who I’m sure will come in and speak to them,” says Remo Roncone, principal at Troy High.

ths-9-23_4PRIME.jpgWhile a number of classes will be able to benefit from the new equipment, Roncone says the main beneficiary will be the machining and fabrication course, which was implemented last year and utilizes all the equipment.

“Students can look at electrical circuitry and hydraulics and different pneumatics, so it’s everything that you would run into in the manufacturing world. These classes are so technical and so advanced that they are being seen by many colleges as equal to taking an advanced placement course.”

As for the types of jobs graduates of the SME PRIME program will be able to pursue, Roncone says, “the sky’s the limit,” depending on the certifications that students earn through the program. “They’ll be able to walk into a job interview, show their certs and have a leg up on any of their competition,” he says. “There are great, high-paying jobs that they can get very early, potentially working with employers to help them offset the costs of higher education.”

Regarding the process of becoming an SME PRIME school, Roncone says, “I’ve been extremely impressed by the way the SME Education Foundation has rolled this out. Sometimes people over-promise and under-deliver, but they’ve promised a lot and over-delivered. It’s a very well-run grant opportunity.”

ths-9-23_PRIME.jpgRoncone credits this to the fact that much of the SME PRIME staff is made up of former educators and industry experts. “They’ve got the right mix of experiences on their end,” he says. “Sometimes industries and schools don’t speak the same language, but SME PRIME has built a team that can translate, and they have great liaisons between schools and industry.”

In reviewing the benefits that SME PRIME is offering to Troy High students, Roncone says, “I think we’ve hit on a great opportunity here. I’m extremely excited and honored that our school was selected, and I really feel it’s going to provide some world-class learning opportunities for kids for years to come. These kids are going to achieve amazing things in their industries, and I think we’ll be able to trace it back to Troy High’s PRIME program, where it all started.”

Preparing The Next Manufacturing Workforce

SME PRIME directly enhances manufacturing and engineering talent by forming partnerships with industry that inform and provide modern equipment, a tailored curriculum and hands-on training for high school students across the country.