A new partnership 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 to prepare high school students to enter the next generation manufacturing workforce. 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 tells 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. HVS would supply and pay the instructors and provide space for the lab at MHS. Root says they have not yet developed the structure or curriculum yet and are working right now to bring together business and manufacturers interested in having young people consider careers in all aspects of manufacturing.

The district is hosting an informational meeting from 8-10am this Friday at Milford High School. Local manufacturers, business owners and community partners are invited to learn about the program, tour the school and ask questions. Those interested in attending can contact Root at kim.root@hvs.org. (JM)