PRIME program provides grants to nine high schools

SME Foundation offers funding to schools teaching STEM skills


The SME Education Foundation has awarded grants to nine high schools through its PRIME Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education (PRIME) program for the 2012-13 school year.

PRIME is a community-based approach to manufacturing education and is part of a commitment by the SME Education Foundation to address the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. “Model schools funded by PRIME offer STEM-based curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to prepare young people for highly skilled jobs with lucrative potential,” SME officials said in a press release. “One of the richest sources of employment and economic growth will be jobs requiring a solid STEM education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is expected to grow by 29%, adding 2.1 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020.

PRIME sites for 2013 include:

  • Alabama: Calera High School, Calera.
  • California: Esperanza High School, Anaheim, Petaluma High School, Petaluma.
  • Indiana: McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, Indianapolis.
  • Iowa: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls.
  • Massachusetts: Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield.
  • Michigan: Jackson Area Career Center, Jackson.
  • Ohio: Centerville High School, Dayton.
  • Wisconsin: Bradley Technical High School, Milwaukee. 

Over a three year period, schools given the PRIME designation will receive assistance in creating and fostering strong partnerships with the local manufacturing base to provide job shadows, mentoring and internships. In addition, PRIME schools will receive funding to support post-secondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors and a STEM- based summer camp for middle school students.

Access to a new website,, funded by the SME Education Foundation, provides links to advanced manufacturing companies whose real-world professionals provide first-hand job descriptions and requirements for highly skilled jobs.

“Our intent is to change outdated perceptions of manufacturing and the careers it offers,” said Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. ‘Our funding is designed to reinforce technical education and provide students with relevant real-world connections to ensure a pipeline of more qualified employees. We’ve had great response from local businesses and manufacturers who are now working with schools to help tailor coursework to reflect highly-skilled, real-world jobs.”

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