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SME Education Foundation SME PRIME What is an SME PRIME School?

SME PRIME Schools Initiative

What is an SME PRIME School?

Advanced manufacturing is high-tech, innovative and dynamic. We work to address perceptions of manufacturing and to inspire students to pursue paths in new, innovative, manufacturing careers. SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) students also learn critical soft skills such as communications, problem-solving and teamwork.

Since 2011, SME PRIME has reached more than 50,000 students in 47 communities across 22 states. With more than 250 industry partners engaged and supporting the national SME PRIME network, students have opportunities to participate in job shadowing, mentoring, co-ops and apprenticeships to gain career-related knowledge and work experience that will extend their learning beyond the classroom.


SME PRIME designated schools serve as high-profile catalysts, broadening the scope of opportunities available to students, faculty and the local manufacturing community.

How they do this varies from school, but here are a few real-life examples we’ve seen:

SME PRIME Students:

  • Post-secondary credits that help students get a head start on college.
  • Industry certifications and accreditations that train students to qualify for highly skilled technical jobs.
  • Internships and job shadowing opportunities that exposes young people to real-world working environments, strengthening their resumes and employment prospects.
  • Scholarship opportunities that ease the financial burdens of post-secondary education.

SME PRIME Instructors:

  • Funding for professional development and training.
  • Externships that allow instructors to work onsite with a local manufacturer for several weeks.


SME PRIME designated programs must be leaders in the realm of advanced manufacturing and STEM education.

SME PRIME schools benefit from the guidance and support of multiple stakeholders, each with a strong commitment to ensure the success of their program. These internal and external leaders include passionate instructors, supportive and engaged administrators, an active advisory panel, and strong industry connections. Advisory panels may include:

  • Industry leaders
  • SME members
  • Students
  • Representatives from post-secondary schools with manufacturing curriculums


SME PRIME designated programs must deliver on the mission of creating our next generation workforce and create excitement around advanced manufacturing and STEM education.

SME PRIME schools receive funding that is earmarked to support programs that enhance the appeal of pursuing a career in advanced manufacturing. These programs are designed to provide rewarding, positive experiences. For example:

  • Camps and academies for middle-school-aged children
  • School clubs
  • Participation in competitions such as SkillsUSA or the National Robotics Challenge


Become an SME PRIME School

Interested in becoming an SME PRIME School? Click on the link below to fill out the form and begin the process today!