Pontiac High School implements new STEM program with industry partners

PONTIAC—The Flagstar Bank Foundation announced a “significant” contribution to the SME Education Foundation to implement an SME PRIME program at Pontiac High School.

The Flagstar Foundation joined the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to support the initiative to bring manufacturing and engineering education and career opportunities to Pontiac High School students.

The SME Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm of SME, formerly the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. It is dedicated to providing the tools to succeed in manufacturing jobs in North America. Students in the Pontiac SME PRIME program will benefit from training and access to modern, advanced manufacturing equipment in industrial maintenance/mechatronics, computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing and additive manufacturing.

Following a regional market analysis, the SME Education Foundation worked with local partners Williams International, Irwin Automotive, Fanuc and Mahindra to shape and form a curriculum that aligns with identified job opportunities.

“SME PRIME schools are central to our commitment to inspiring, preparing and supporting young people,” said Rob Luce, SME Education Foundation vice president. “We’re proud to now include Pontiac High School students in the SME PRIME schools’ initiative as we continue to expand the program across the country.”

Pontiac High School serves more than 1,000 students in Oakland County, with many from economically disadvantaged circumstances.

“Pontiac High School students are diverse and often underrepresented in STEM fields,” said Suzanne Kavanaugh, principal of Pontiac High School. “The SME Education Foundation PRIME schools program creates new pathways and opportunities for these students to explore futures in both industry and ongoing education.”

The Flagstar Foundation’s contribution comes as a part of its $10 million investment in Pontiac to support career and workforce readiness. “We look to this program to help improve the local economy by offering students the chance to graduate from high school ready for the workforce,” said Beth Correa, head of corporate responsibility at Flagstar and managing director of the Flagstar Foundation. “It’s another way for us to give life to our pledge to help revitalize Pontiac.”

To learn more about the SME Education Foundation PRIME initiative, visit smeef.org/prime.

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