$ 5.2 Million Investment in STEM-based Manufacturing Education Workforce Development Programs

The SME Education Foundation (www.smeef.org) has announced funding to nine model schools in eight states through its PRIME -Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education -Program, for the academic school year, 2012-2013. PRIME, a community-based approach to manufacturing education, 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. 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 percent, adding 2.1 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020.


PRIME sites for 2013 include: Alabama: Calera High School, Calera, Ala., California: Esperanza High School, Anaheim, Calif.; Petaluma High School, Petaluma, Calif.; Indiana: McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, Indianapolis, Ind.; Iowa: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Massachusetts: Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield, Mass.; Michigan: Jackson Area Career Center, Jackson, Mich.; Ohio: Centerville High School, Dayton, Ohio, and Wisconsin: Bradley Technical High School, Milwaukee, Wis.


Additional school support

PRIME was created to provide additional support and resources for schools offering an exemplary STEM-based manufacturing curriculum, skilled and energetic instructors, engaged and active students, strong administrative support, and support from the local manufacturing community. 


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, www.CareerMe.org, 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," says 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.”

In 2011-2012 model schools included: California: Hawthorne High School, Los Angeles, Calif., Illinois: Wheeling High School, Chicago, Ill.; Indiana: Walker Career Center, Indianapolis, Ind.; Missouri: Summit Technology Academy, Kansas City, Mo.; Ohio: Kettering Fairmont High School, Dayton, Ohio, and Oklahoma: Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City, Okla. 

To-date, the SME Education Foundation has provided funding of more than $285,000 through PRIME to model high schools to help manufacturing and its advanced technologies drive the economic vitality of local communities. This initiative builds on a five-year, $5.2 million investment in their STEM-based manufacturing education workforce development programs.


List of PRIME Schools

PRIME SCHOOLS: 2012-2013


Calera High School, Calera, AL

Calera High School provides an enrollment of approximately 900 students, grades 9-12, with a learning environment in which students can acquire skills to become productive and responsible citizens and enjoy successful careers. The school provides a positive learning experience through quality teaching, a safe environment, and curriculum that meets the diverse needs of all students. Their pre-engineering program offers opportunities for student scholastic achievement with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.



Hawthorne High School – Los Angeles, CA


Established in 2004 on the campus of Hawthorne High School with 34 students, today the School of Engineering and Manufacturing has 347 students and has a rigorous educational program built on the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum, a nationally recognized leader in engineering curriculum at the high school level. It is a California Partnership Academy through the California Department of Education and is a PLTW Model School (2008-2009), one of 14 schools out of 3,000 nationwide. HHSEM students reflect all walks of life, multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds, varied levels of educational proficiency, and involvement of SME Los Angeles & Ventura County Chapter #173.

Esperanza High School, Anaheim, CA

High School, Anaheim, California, is a comprehensive four-year public high school that is part of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. The school serves an enrollment of 1808 students of the primarily residential community in the northeast part of Orange County. It is a California Distinguished School and is home to numerous academic clubs and various C.I.F. championship athletic programs. With an API of 861, the school’s rank is in the top 25 percent of Orange County high schools and in May 2007, received a full six-year clear accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  

Petaluma High School, Petaluma, CA

Petaluma High School is a public high school located in the city of Petaluma, California in the Petaluma Joint Union High School District. The educational mission of its instructional program is to provide a student-centered academic and vocational curriculum. Students can self-select a pathway leading to certification at graduation, leading to post-secondary opportunities, credit enhancement, or directly to the workforce. This curriculum fosters responsibility, citizenship, communication, respect for others, for the world in which we live, and promotes lifelong learning. In 1992, Petaluma High School was named a California Distinguished School.  


Wheeling High School - Chicago, IL

Wheeling High School, Wheeling, Ill., is a public, culturally diverse, four-year comprehensive high school with a STEM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Established in 1964, the school is one of six schools in Township High District 214. Course offerings and content are grounded in relevance to the new economy and industries being served providing college credit bearing courses and entry level career certifications including information technology, engineering, architecture and advanced manufacturing. A network of industry professionals from a wide array of fields provides guidance and support.


McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, Indianapolis, IN

McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology is a career and technical high school supporting students from Lawrence Central High School, Lawrence North High School and CTE students from Lawrence Township, Indiana.  The McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology houses state-of-the art equipment, materials and curriculum.  The center embraces rigorous academic programs and diverse technological career courses, which prepare its students for all post-secondary education—two & four year colleges, military service and advanced technical training in a variety of business, medical and industrial fields.  A high concentration of our student population is involved with Project Lead the Way courses in pre-engineering and biomedical science.  Students receive dual college credit and national certifications in their fields of study.

Walker Career Center - Indianapolis, IN

The Walker Career Center, established in 1976, is attached to the Warren Central High School, Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, serves over 3000 students in grades 9-12 and offers twenty-four career and technical education programs equipped with state-of the-art technology delivered by a quality staff. Each program offers excellent instruction and most programs lead to an industry certification or college dual credit which in most cases, is free to their students. The Metropolitan School District of Warren Township district serves 11,500 students K-12.


Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, IA

Established in 1863, Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa, serves 1,125 students, and 90 teachers. It is part of the Cedar Falls Community School District which is home to six elementary schools, two junior high schools, one alternative high school, and one high school. Courses of Study support vocational and academic plans. Courses satisfy elective requirements for World Studies, Personal Economics, Health, Practical Arts, and General Administrative. Cedar Falls High School offers several ―concurrent classes. Because of a partnership with Hawkeye Community College, students may enroll in college-level courses taught during the regular school day. Upon successful completion of the course, students will earn both high school and college credit.


Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield, MA

Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield, Mass., is a public high school established in 1911 which recognizes career and technical education as an integral part of the public school system. This is exemplified by its facilities and certified and professional personnel meeting industry standards in both state and federal legislation, Chapter 74, Section 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws defines vocational education as: “Education of which the primary purpose is to fit people for profitable employment, or for advancement while employed.” Westfield students are prepared for careers which are common in modern industry and which offer an abundance of job opportunities upon graduation.


Jackson Area Career Center (JACC), Jackson, MI

The Jackson Area Career Center is a service of Jackson County Intermediate School District and provides its students with career and technical educational classes, industry certifications, and free college credit, and guidance counseling services. More than 38,000 students have experienced Career Center CTE opportunities and possibilities through hands-on and applied learning. JACC maintains strong relationships within the community, which includes employers, local school districts, and higher education institutions.             


Summit Technology Academy - Kansas City, MO

Summit Technology Academy (STA) created in 1997 by the Lee's Summit R-7 School District is located on the campus of the Summit Technology Center in Lee's Summit. It is an off-campus pre-professional learning opportunity for high school students seriously interested in the course technology-based courses of study. Professional IT certifications and dual college credit is offered through Metropolitan Community College, University of Central Missouri, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. It is a member an area-wide consortium of districts - the Career Education Consortium.      


Centerville High School, Dayton, OH

 Centerville High School, established in 1885, is a public school of secondary education for approximately 2,800 students in grades 9–12 with staff of 192. It is the only high school in the Centerville City School District, which also includes three middle schools, six elementary schools, and two K-1. It is among the few public high schools in Ohio to receive a distinguished Great Schools Rating of 10 out of 10 and has the third highest student population in Ohio. CHS curriculum includes esoteric courses as well as vocational courses in the Performing Arts, Music, Preparatory College-Career, and the School of Possibilities (SoP) offering an alternative educational pathway. It also offers 25 Advanced Placement tests in 18 courses in science, mathematics, history, government, language, economics, and psychology. 

Kettering Fairmont High School - Dayton, OH

Kettering Fairmont High School, Kettering, Ohio, is a public, culturally diverse, four-year comprehensive high school with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based education serving 2,300 students whose ACT scores are well above the national average with a graduation rate of 98 percent. A majority of students move on to higher education or specialized training. Kettering is an industrial first-ring suburb of Dayton, Ohio that has a local manufacturing base and is in close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The curriculum offered at Fairmont High School supports these industries with award-winning, Project Lead The Way manufacturing curriculum. In 2010, the Kettering District and Fairmont High School were rated "Excellent" by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).


Francis Tuttle Technology Center - Oklahoma City, OK

Francis Tuttle Technology Center, established in 1979, is named in honor of the founder of the Oklahoma CareerTech system, the late Dr. Francis Tuttle. The Center encompasses six public school districts serving 11,780 students who may attend Francis Tuttle tuition-free while in high school. Adult students are served by Adult & Career Development, Business and Industry Services, and daytime and evening Career Training Programs. The Center works closely with business and education partners with specific focus on workforce needs of the marketplace with the delivery of on-time, just-in-time, customized training.


Bradley Tech High School, Milwaukee, WI

Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade High School (Bradley Tech) is the premier technology and trade school of Milwaukee; with a rich history and every evolving future.  Located in the heart of the Walker’s Point neighborhood, Bradley Tech educates 1,200 students from across the city.  To support all of our students in achieving academic and personally success Bradley Tech offers a broad range of scholastic options, including clear pathways for students into four year universities, tech/trade education, and apprenticeships.  

Scott Brown