SME Education Foundation and San Angelo ISD Join Forces to Create STEM Opportunities for Students

San Angelo ISD is excited to announce an innovative partnership with the SME Education Foundation to bring unique manufacturing and engineering education and career opportunities to SAISD students via the Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) schools initiative. SAISD will be the only district in West Texas, and only the second statewide, to offer SME PRIME opportunities to students. 

With the addition of the SME PRIME program to the expansive Career and Technical Education (CTE) course opportunities at SAISD, the District will be able to provide more future-readiness options for students, specifically those interested in manufacturing and engineering while also helping to meet prospective hiring needs for local employers. SME PRIME builds cost-effective and tailored manufacturing/engineering programs with equipment, curriculum, professional development, scholarships and STEM-focused activities.

Each SME PRIME school is supported and informed by local manufacturers in their communities. In San Angelo, the SME PRIME program has been made possible through the critical support, guidance and funding from Ethicon, Principal LED, the City of San Angelo Development Corporation and the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce

Students at Central High School and Lake View High School will have new opportunities to explore career preparation and growth through the SME PRIME offerings at the SAISD West Texas Training Center location beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. Currently, Ethicon and Principal LED are providing input to SME Prime on training and skills needed in the industry. Once that is completed, it will then be provided to SAISD for curriculum alignment. 

“This partnership provides valuable, industry-relevant education and training for San Angelo students,” said Roxanne Fentress, Director of Career and Technical Education for San Angelo ISD. “Our collaboratively designed curriculum will give students a unique opportunity to explore manufacturing, engineering and STEM, expanding their career opportunities after graduation.”

SME PRIME schools directly address the manufacturing and engineering talent shortage by partnering with industry to provide modern equipment, a tailored curriculum and hands-on training to high schools across the country. SME PRIME students learn about manufacturing and engineering technology and processes through an industry-informed curriculum tailored to meet the needs of local industry. Students will be on a path to get a manufacturing job in any sector and to attain prerequisites for transfer to a university for a relevant field.

The SME PRIME program works with local manufacturers to develop and access a pool of skilled local talent who have been trained — and often certified — to fill specific roles at their respective companies, providing a direct community benefit.
“SME PRIME schools are central to our commitment to inspiring, preparing and supporting young people,” said Rob Luce, SME Education Foundation vice president. “Our partnership with the San Angelo Independent School District is an achievement, and we’re proud to join with Ethicon, Principal LED and community leaders to welcome these committed educators to our national team.”
Since 2011, SME PRIME schools have been initiated in 62 communities across 23 states, creating opportunities for more than 100,000 students. In 2019 and 2020 alone, the SME Education Foundation partnered with 14 new schools to create custom programs through partnerships with private industry.

SAISD is proud to integrate the SME PRIME program into our CTE offerings to provide more robust options and opportunities for our students to follow their individual hopes and dreams. SAISD CTE courses allow students to use academic knowledge and problem solving skills while acquiring occupationally specific skills as part of their high school curriculum. SAISD high school students can choose from CTE course pathways like construction management and inspection, welding, healthcare, culinary arts, design and multimedia arts, teaching and training, accounting and financial services, animal science, entrepreneurship and marketing, law enforcement, cosmetology, automotive technology, digital communications, and robotics. 

About the SME Education Foundation

As the philanthropic arm of SME, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization serving the manufacturing industry, the SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares and supports the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. The Foundation leverages the 90-year history and thought leadership of SME in the manufacturing and engineering industry to provide curated experiences for thousands of high school students at SME conferences and tradeshows and builds hands-on manufacturing programs in high schools across the country. The Foundation also awards millions of dollars in scholarships every year to graduating high school seniors and both undergraduate and graduate students.  Through its SME PRIME program, the Foundation has reached over 100,000 students in 62 schools across 23 states. All Foundation activities are designed to empower young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering.

To stay up-to-date on San Angelo ISD, please visit the SAISD website at www.saisd.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  For more information on the SME Education Foundation, visit smeeducationfoundation.org, and follow the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.