SME Education Foundation PRIME Initiative Selects Six New High Schools for Its Manufacturing Education Program

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PRIME Initiative grows to add six new schools to train the next-generation manufacturing workforce.

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To date, roughly three-quarters of PRIME graduates enter the manufacturing field or pursue manufacturing or STEM-related postsecondary education and training.

The SME Education Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) initiative is pleased to announce it has selected six new high schools to participate in its program. PRIME creates connections between manufacturing high school students, educators and the industry to grow and train the next-generation workforce — all while driving interest and awareness in manufacturing.

“In just a few years, the PRIME model and network has proven its value and success,” said Josh Cramer, senior educational program officer, SME Education Foundation. “To date, roughly three-quarters of PRIME graduates enter the manufacturing field or pursue manufacturing or STEM-related postsecondary education and training. This validates the belief that engaging high school students and providing them with hands-on access to manufacturing curriculum and tools can drive interest in pursuing degrees to support the industry.”

Launched in 2011, the PRIME approach provides the opportunity for students, teachers and schools to have access to real-life manufacturing education and tools, as well as engage with manufacturing companies in the local community. The newly selected schools will begin the PRIME program for the 2015-16 school year.

The new PRIME schools are:

  •     Capital High School, Helena, Montana.
  •     Jeffersontown High School, Louisville, Kentucky.
  •     John Glenn High School, Norwalk, California.
  •     Middleton High School, Tampa, Florida.
  •     Rocklin High School, Rocklin, California.
  •     Tri Rivers Career Center, Marion, Ohio.

Schools benefit from PRIME via funding for equipment, software and professional development, as well as manufacturing/STEM-focused camps, extracurricular activities and scholarship opportunities. Schools in the national PRIME network also have direct connectivity to SME, the SME Education Foundation and its industry and education partners.

Companies that support PRIME impact the community by providing real-world connections for the instructors and students, as well as ensuring a pipeline of more qualified employees for their organization. The funding and manufacturing industry involvement allows PRIME schools to increase opportunities for students to engage in the careers and community and to collaborate with the industry in real-world scenarios. The Aviation Academy in Newport News, Virginia, has been a PRIME school since 2013. It is dedicated to creating a classroom environment to immerse students in STEM curriculum and hands-on manufacturing experiences. The Aviation Academy also partners with local and national SME chapters for various initiatives and interaction.

“Participating as a PRIME school ensures our graduates are one step closer to becoming college and career-ready with strong skills and a fascination with the technology that is so highly sought after in the 21st century workplace,” said Aaron Smith, program director, the Aviation Academy. “I am proud and thankful for all that SME provides for our students. SME plays a vital role in mentoring and transforming manufacturing and STEM education.”

PRIME schools are selected for their ability to be leading educational institutions in the areas of advanced manufacturing and STEM education. To maintain their designation as PRIME, schools must deliver on the mission of creating the next-generation workforce, as well as having engaged instructors, an active advisory panel and strong industry connections.

To learn more about PRIME, visit

About the SME Education Foundation
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, preparing and supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by SME in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $33 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at Follow @mfgeducation on Twitter or

About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for the industry. Follow @sme_mfg on Twitter or

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