A new partnership being launched in the New Year aims to help address a critical shortage of skilled workers locally while also providing promising career training opportunities for students.

Huron Valley Schools and SME PRIME are currently exploring plans to create a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing lab at Milford High School. PRIME or Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education is part of the SME Education Foundation. SME PRIME would work in tandem with the district and local businesses to design and build a manufacturing lab and then develop appropriate curriculum. The program would accommodate multiple business partners and become part of the district’s growing Career and Technical Education Program. HVS Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations Kim Root earlier WHMI the manufacturing community is hurting for skilled trades and talented people to come in and see the jobs as the future for them. She says they want to encourage young people to go into these fields and open the eyes of students to what the possibilities are in terms of careers in manufacturing.

Root says when SME approached Huron Valley Schools, they saw it as a great opportunity for kids but also a future opportunity for the businesses and manufacturers involved. Ultimately, Root says they hope to raise the funds to build the lab at Milford High School. She says it would which would cost approximately $315,000 and be built from donations and contributions from the businesses and manufacturers involved. Root says the district would house and staff the lab at Milford High Schools so that career training opportunities would be available to all students for apprenticeship programs and internships in the skilled trades. She noted they have not yet developed the structure or curriculum and have been initially working to bring together business and manufacturers interested in having young people consider careers in all aspects of manufacturing. In early December, the district held an informational meeting at Milford High School targeting local manufacturers, business owners and community partners to learn about the program, tour the school and ask questions. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Root at kim.root@hvs.org. (JM)