LOS ANGELES, February 27, 2012 — On January 23, Bart Aslin, CEO of the SME Education Foundation (SME-EF); SME members from senior and student chapters in the Los Angeles area; and representatives from industry and academia, were on hand to help celebrate Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing being named an exemplary school for manufacturing education. Hawthorne High is one of six schools to participate in the Foundation's new PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) program, which includes an initial grant of $16,000 and continued support to enhance its education program.
During this celebatory gathering at El Camino College, Aslin spoke on the importance of workforce development, urging local industry to participate in addressing the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Among local industry in attendance were Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Triumph, Spacex, Honeywell, Honda TRD, Exxon Mobil, Disney, Dasco Engineering, Raytheon and more. Educators from many other LosAngeles-area schools were in attendance as well. Other organizations, such as Vital Link and CMTC, were on hand to support the connection between industry and education.
Through the PRIME program, SME and SME-EF are creating strong partnerships between organizations, businesses and schools to provide a community-based approached to manufacturing education. Local manufacturing professionals, including machine operators, purchasing people, engineers, CEOs, suppliers, machine tool builders, and students at universities and community colleges are connecting to provide exposure in the form of plant tours, mentorship, apprenticeship and advanced training. One of SME's newest chapters, South Bay Area No. 153, was started by a group of engineers to assist in this endeavor by acting as a conduit to draw industry in to address the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent. Hawthorne High School, El Camino College and California State University, Long Beach, have also partnered with local industry in this effort.
Chapters wishing to introduce SME-EF to an exemplary manufacturing program within their geographic area are asked to complete the Preliminary Selection Form and return it to the SME Education Foundation. The Foundation has granted funds for CIM (computer-integrated manufacturing) software and curriculum upgrades to 139 high school Project Lead The Way programs over the last two years. These schools represent perfect opportunities for member engagement.