The SME Education Foundation <http://smeef.org/> is taking a community-based approach to manufacturing education and creating strong partnerships between organizations, businesses and exemplary schools. Milwaukee Public Schools’ Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade High School is one of nine exemplary schools selected for year two of SME Education Foundation’s PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education <http://www.sme.org/prime> program, which launched in fall 2011 with six schools in six different states.
On October 23, 2012, representatives from Rockwell Automation and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation presented Bradley Tech High School with a check for $15,000 to enhance their exemplary manufacturing education program.
“PRIME was developed as a response to the growing skills gap crisis in our nation along with our greater mission to inspire, prepare and support STEM-interested students,” said Bart Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. “Upon graduation, they will leave school with the tools to further that education and become future innovators and contributors to industry. An advanced manufacturing curriculum, dedicated instructors and involvement from local industry provides the right mix of academic and real-world experience. We feel that this approach will lead not only to the success of the individual, but will help to create communities with a strengthened manufacturing base. It is truly a positive outcome for everyone involved.”
One of those involved parties is Rockwell Automation, a Milwaukee based manufacturing leader. Rockwell Automation and Bradley Tech High School have a long standing history. As a community partner, Rockwell Automation has invested in several STEM (science technology, engineering and math) education initiatives at Bradley Tech High School, including: Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).
“Support for PRIME makes sense for us because our goal is to Inspire Young Minds™ to become the next generation of skilled employees, customers and partners,” said Sue Shimoyama, SME Education Foundation Board Director and Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing Operations, Rockwell Automation. “We are working to change the perception of careers in manufacturing today and PRIME strengthens our efforts.”
The PRIME designation come with a three-year commitment by the SME Education Foundation to provide assistance in creating and fostering strong partnerships with the local manufacturing base to provide job shadows, mentoring and internships. In addition, PRIME schools receive funds totaling $35,000 for the three years to support post-secondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors and a STEM-based camp for middle school students.
“Bradley Tech High School was given this designation because of their skilled and dedicated instructors, engaged and active students, strong administrative support and an involved local manufacturing base,” said Aslin.
“This program has a rich history of providing the manufacturing community with stellar contributors. Our hope is that through PRIME, we can make that job a little easier.”