In Good Shape

Midwest

The SME Education Foundation expands its efforts to bring students into the manufacturing industry with a new partnership in Michigan.

Shape Corp., a global Tier I automotive and industrial component supplier, is the latest manufacturer to join the growing list of companies partnering with the SME Education Foundation to expand its exemplary manufacturing education program for high school students. The foundation, Shape Corp. and Grand Haven Area Public Schools in Michigan will collaborate through SME’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME®) initiative to develop and launch an advanced manufacturing education program at Grand Haven High School beginning in the 2018 academic year. 

Shape is dedicated to producing a talented future workforce, often participating in career-building events and industry activities to increase awareness of the opportunities within manufacturing. On an annual basis, Shape supports and hosts local West Michigan teams from the Future Prep’d program, which engages students in solving real business problems. Shape regularly participates in career exploration events, including Boomerang, MiCareerQuest and others. Students often tour Shape’s facilities, gaining an introduction to processes, products and the varying types of work that are needed for the business to succeed.   

“Shape has a long history of engagement with students, and we have partnered with numerous organizations to attract these young people to potential career opportunities in manufacturing,” says Mark White, president. “We are very excited about partnering with the SME Education Foundation and look forward to growing a great manufacturing education program in Grand Haven.”

PRIME builds a collaborative network of students, educators and industry professionals to provide high school students with advanced manufacturing career pathways, while driving their interest and awareness in manufacturing. This national program provides students with practical experience, knowledge and skills using state-of-the-art technology and equipment, while allowing companies to influence the career direction of youth through mentoring, internships and job shadowing.  

“The SME Education Foundation has partnered with some of the best companies in the manufacturing industry, and we are proud to add Shape Corp. to this distinguished list,” says Brian Glowiak, vice president, SME Education Foundation. “We also look forward to working with the skilled and enthusiastic educators at Grand Haven High School who will foster their students in becoming future manufacturing engineers and technologists.”

With more than 2,000 students and 125 staff members, Grand Haven High School is home to a variety of courses and includes curriculum designed to meet and adapt to the needs of 21st century education. The school’s academic emphasis focuses on preparing students for college as well as the increasingly competitive and technologically advanced workplace, laying the foundation for a great partnership with the SME Education Foundation and its PRIME initiative. 

“We are very impressed with the SME Education Foundation’s work and its accomplishments through the PRIME initiative,” says Andrew Ingall, superintendent, Grand Haven Area Public Schools. “Our students will benefit greatly from engagement with Shape Corp. as well as the plethora of opportunities offered through PRIME.”

Alliances with local manufacturing associations play a major role in connecting business and education within the manufacturing community. The Shape Corp. and Grand Haven Area Public Schools collaboration is a result of the SME Education Foundation’s partnership with the Michigan Manufacturers Association, which began in 2016 to help boost Michigan’s already strong manufacturing presence and provide much-needed support to an industry seeking a large influx of new talent. 

“We are very proud to be part of the partnership with Shape Corp., the SME Education Foundation and Grand Haven Area Public Schools,” said Mike Johnston, vice president, government affairs, Michigan Manufacturers Association. “The vision of Shape Corp. and the Grand Haven school leaders to work together to harmonize their missions to provide both career opportunities for students and provide talent to grow local companies should be commended.  We hope this will serve as a model for communities to cooperate all over the state.”

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