Alcoa Cultivates Manufacturing Education In Southern Calif.
DEARBORN, Mich. — Nurturing students’ innate creative abilities and setting them on a pathway to prosperity with upgraded skills and a broader range of knowledge, doesn’t just “happen.” Alcoa Foundation , New York, N.Y. has pledged $220,000 to support PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education), a community-based approach to manufacturing education.
PRIME  is part of a commitment of the SME Education Foundation  to address the shortage of advanced manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Funding provided by Alcoa Foundation will continue to support the PRIME programs at Esperanza High School , Anaheim, Calif. and Hawthorne High School , Los Angeles, Calif. Additionally, Alcoa Foundation will identify two more schools in Southern California with exemplary manufacturing education programs to support through the 2016 school year.
“The work of the SME Education Foundation would not be possible without the generous support of great manufacturing companies like Alcoa and its foundation,” says Rodney Grover, senior development officer, SME Education Foundation. "They are committed to changing the lives of future innovators and are proving their commitment through the support of the SME Education Foundation’s PRIME initiative."
Scott Hudson, principal manager, global initiatives and program development, Alcoa Foundation, says, “We cultivate academic and nonprofit partnerships that streamline education to employment with applied opportunities for students to pursue manufacturing careers. Alcoa Foundation and the SME Education Foundation partnership takes these opportunities into high schools where students have access to industry experts and professionals, guided tours of manufacturing plants, mentorships, job shadowing and internships."
To date, the SME Education Foundation has provided funding of more than $795,000, through PRIME, to model high schools to assist manufacturing and its advanced technologies in driving the economic vitality of local communities. This initiative builds on a five-year, $5.2 million investment in their STEM-based advanced manufacturing education workforce development programs.
A four-point plan for economic growth and jobs, outlined in the study, “A Manufacturing Renaissance ,” published by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will enable the U.S. to compete and succeed in the global economy. Points especially relevant to PRIME include modernizing and investing in infrastructure to help manufacturers in the United States more efficiently move people, products and ideas; the development of a more productive workforce and programs to encourage innovation through education reforms and improvements.
Currently there are 26 PRIME schools  in 19 states throughout the country.
Nominate a PRIME Site:
Nominations are now open for new PRIME schools. Through PRIME, strong partnerships are created and fostered between exemplary high schools and the local manufacturing base to provide a comprehensive, community-based approach to advanced manufacturing education through job shadows, mentoring and internships. Additionally, each PRIME school receives funding to provide post-secondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors and a STEM-based camp for middle school students.
PRIME site applications will be accepted through March 7, 2014. Nomination applications may be submitted by local SME Chapters or companies involved with a high school offering exemplary manufacturing education. Click here  for the PRIME Nomination Guidelines. Click here  for the 2014 PRIME Site Nomination Application.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million since 1952. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com  and follow @AlcoaFoundation  on Twitter.
About 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 the Society of Manufacturing Engineers 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 www.smeef.org . Also visit www.CareerMe.org  for information on advanced manufacturing careers and www.ManufacturingisCool.com , our award-winning Web site for young people. Follow @mfgeducation on Twitter.