New Year’s Resolution…Reboot Training in your Sales Organization

  • Date: January 16, 2017
  • Posted by:David Mack

How were your sales last year? Did you blow away your quota? Make your numbers? If so, congratulations! You are in great shape for 2017.

If not (sadly, more than half of sales reps fail to meet their sales plan), it may be time to give your sales performance a boost with training in the New Year. Read More.

Not Your Grandfather’s Apprenticeship Program

  • Date: December 15, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning and Performance Improvement, Tooling U-SME

Around for generations, apprenticeships, which allow employees to earn while they learn, are seeing a renaissance as the manufacturing industry addresses the skills gap.

But these aren’t your grandfather’s apprenticeship programs. Today, informal, time-based programs are out. Formal, competency-based programs are in. Read More.

New 80:10:10 Learning Model

  • Date: November 17, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning and Performance Improvement, Tooling U-SME

The retirement of millions of experienced and knowledgeable workers is creating a situation similar to that during World War II, when the incumbent manufacturing workforce went off to war and a new workforce was needed.

Out of necessity, on-the-job training (OJT) programs were developed to provide the standardization needed to quickly build a strong, reliable and safe workforce.

Today, there is a need to bring back these strong practices. This approach is critical due to the lack of strong competency-based apprenticeship programs and an incoming, often unskilled workforce. Read More.

Upskilling on Steroids

  • Date: October 27, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning and Performance Improvement, Tooling U-SME

I’m out in the field…a lot. Here’s what I see: manufacturers are starting to grasp the repercussions of the skills gap due to retirements and a thin pipeline if they don’t take action.

While more than half of manufacturers say they do not have a plan for filling this shortage by 2021, the good news is that the other half are taking steps.

Now that some manufacturers have seen the light, their immediate focus? Accelerating training. Read More.

Fall’s Coming: Focus on Learning

  • Date: September 28, 2016
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

There is something about the change in the weather that fires up an urge for learning, no matter what age we are.

That makes it the perfect time for Corporate America to take a fresh look at its formal training and development programs. And it all begins with building a learning culture.

Take KYOCERA SGS Precision Tools, Inc. (KSPT), a solid carbide cutting tool manufacturer in Munroe Falls, Ohio. Read More.

Workforce 2021 Report: Gambler or Visionary?

  • Date: September 15, 2016
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

Back in 2011, as part of our Mission Critical: Workforce 2021 initiative, Tooling U-SME sounded the alarm that the future success of manufacturing is at risk by the end of the decade if industry does not address the growing skills gap.

To assess and gauge a company’s performance related to this challenge, we introduced a one-of-a-kind “Workforce 2021 Assessment” tool. Read More.

$50.5 Million Available for Apprenticeship Programs

  • Date: August 03, 2016
  • Posted by:Gretchen Schultz

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that $50.5 million is available this year through the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants initiative.

This investment marks the first time that the Federal government is providing funding to support States in their efforts to expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeship to better respond to industry workforce demands.

This is good news for all parties: manufacturers, the workforce, educators and local economies. Read More.

A WWII Model for Supervisor Training Today

  • Date: July 20, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning and Performance Improvement, Tooling U-SME

In workshops, I often play a World War II training video to show the difference between a well-trained supervisor and one that is inadvertently costing the company time, money and good employees.

Every time I watch the first “wrong way” scenario, my heart aches for both the supervisor and the trainee. The supervisor doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. And, with no guidance, the new employee makes mistake after mistake, works unsafely, and ends up quitting.

Yet, this damaging approach to training is not the supervisor’s fault — it is the organization’s responsibility to train him. Read More.

Graduating to Real Life

  • Date: June 29, 2016
  • Posted by:Krista Maurer

As “Pomp and Circumstance” rings out across the nation, Career and Technical Education (CTE) students — and parents — are hoping high school skills translate to jobs.

One program that is removing the guesswork is the West Virginia Department of Education’s Simulated Workplace. Students from the program are heading into manufacturing careers with strong technical skills and real-life work experience. Read More.

Apprenticeships Done Right

  • Date: June 09, 2016
  • Posted by:Krista Maurer

In September, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $175 million to 46 applicants through its American Apprenticeship grant competition. This investment highlights the importance of this training approach for helping fill the many job openings in manufacturing today.

One of our customer partners, Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan, is an example of a school doing apprenticeships right. They have 120 apprentices working for about 40 companies. Some local businesses employ as many as 14 apprentices at a time. Read More.

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