Our Values

Tooling U-SME is the industry leader in manufacturing training. For more than 80 years, we have worked with manufacturers to build training programs and support workforce learning initiatives.

We offer an incredibly diverse suite of training resources that includes professional consultative services, online training content, instructor-led training, book and video content and industry-backed certifications. More than 210,000 individuals from 5,000 companies use us to strengthen the knowledge and skills of their manufacturing workforce.

We believe that training and professional development is the key for the future success of manufacturing. We believe that forward-thinking technical schools and community colleges are our critical partners in this effort. Manufacturers are the keepers of vital knowledge and technologies, but this knowledge will be lost through transition and a retiring workforce unless the knowledge and skills are passed on. We have developed an extensive and diverse catalog of manufacturing-specific content and innovative learning tools to help manufacturers bolster their expertise and leverage their people to successfully compete in today's economy.

Our History

Tooling U, the original online training component of Tooling U-SME, started as a division of Jergens, Inc., which is a privately held workholding and tooling component manufacturer founded in 1942 and located in Cleveland, Ohio. Tooling U launched its initial 30 classes and proprietary LMS in the fall of 2001, focusing on training topics such as metal cutting, CNC, shop math, print reading, and workholding components.

In February 2002, Tooling U-SME was formed as an LLC and brought on key investors within the industry. These investors included Glengary Ventures, a venture capital enterprise also based in Cleveland, OH; Gardner Publications, Inc., a Cincinnati-based publisher of industrial trade media; and most importantly, The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

In the fall of 2010, SME acquired Tooling U, forming the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of manufacturing-specific, professional development training products and services. In the following spring, Tooling U-SME moved into its new Cleveland office at 3615 Superior Ave.

Since 2002, each year has demonstrated Tooling U-SME's evolution and increasing ability to provide manufacturers and educators with training that helps them develop their people. For example, Tooling U-SME:

  • Launched the first Spanish translations of English classes in January 2003.
  • Released its 100th class in August 2003.
  • Moved into assembly and fabrication content by partnering with Lincoln Electric in April 2004.
  • Developed the first custom content for specific manufacturers by working with Kennametal and Seco Tools in April and May 2005 to address their unique technologies.
  • Entered into maintenance-related training by releasing classes on electrical systems, hydraulics/pneumatics, and mechanical systems in late 2006.
  • Organized training into job-specific programs and assessments in July 2006.
  • Released a series of classes translated into Simplified Chinese in 2008.
  • Unveiled a new competency model that organizes training for each industry into a career-pathing hierarchy, tying online theory to hands-on practice in early 2009.
  • Released version 6.0 of its proprietary Learning Management System in early 2009.
  • SME acquires Tooling University LLC in the Fall of 2010.
  • United all of its training products (online, ILT, book, video) under one cohesive model in the Fall of 2012.

Today, Tooling U-SME continues to improve its training products and services by aggressively developing content in new areas, releasing improved and increasingly sophisticated versions of its LMS, and supporting increasingly customized training tailored to the unique needs of each customer. With thousands of students logging in each week, Tooling U-SME continues to demonstrate that it is the leading provider of manufacturing-specific training products and services.