Press Release

(Dearborn, Michigan — October 15, 2014) To combat the current and pending talent gap and build a high-performance team, some manufacturers are increasingly turning to competency models such as Tooling U-SME's Competency Framework for Manufacturing Excellence — a structured system to develop the needed knowledge, skills and abilities for specific jobs.

By instituting a training program around competencies, tied directly to the bottom line, companies can ensure they remain competitive. Organizations using competencies can experience tangible benefits, such as improved quality, cycle time, communications, reliability and safety, and reduced costs and downtime.

Surprisingly, despite these tangible business benefits, more than half of manufacturers say they do not have a plan to address the skilled labor shortage, according to SME research.

While employers invest in equipment, tooling and materials, they often neglect to make a similar investment in their employees. However, if workers do not keep up with technological advances, the whole structure moves out of balance.

Fortunately, a well-trained employee will more effectively utilize the capability of new equipment, leading to increased innovation and productivity.

Tooling U-SME's Competency Framework offers advantages that tie directly to business goals including:

  • Ensures enterprise-wide consistency making a workforce more flexible and dynamic, ultimately reducing labor costs
  • Streamlines the training process and cuts costs by eliminating unnecessary/redundant training and allowing more training where needed
  • Helps managers easily evaluate worker performance levels defined using specific behavioral indicators, which reduces subjective assessment, increases assessment accuracy
  • Enhances employee satisfaction based on the rationality of the system
  • Defines and explains to an average performer what they need to attain in order to become a superior performer (career pathways)

As the U.S. manufacturing industry continues to grow, the pressure to find and develop skilled workers will continue to increase. Companies that start addressing workforce challenges today, using tools such as our Competency Framework, will retain a competitive advantage for years to come.

For more information, give us a call or download Tooling U-SME's free white paper, "Using Competency Models to Drive Competitiveness and Combat the Manufacturing Skills Gap."

About Tooling U-SME
Tooling U-SME delivers versatile, competency-based learning and development solutions to the manufacturing community, working with more than half of all Fortune 500® manufacturing companies, as well as educational institutions across the country. Tooling U-SME partners with customers to build high performers who help their companies drive quality, productivity, innovation and employee satisfaction. A division of SME, an organization that connects people to manufacturing solutions, Tooling U-SME can be found at, or follow @ToolingU on Twitter.