Press Release

CLEVELAND, Ohio, November 11, 2013 — In response to the growing demand for skilled manufacturing workers, many post-secondary schools are ramping up their educational programs to fill the needs of area manufacturers. Each quarter, Tooling U-SME recognizes educational facilities that are developing an outstanding manufacturing learning culture with its Platinum Education Center designation.

The TUPEC program was created, in part, because of the crisis facing manufacturing. Business research firms like Deloitte report that, by 2021, one million skilled jobs such as machinists, assemblers, inspectors, among others will go unfilled due to retirement and the lack of individuals with the right manufacturing skills and knowledge to replace them. Schools in the manufacturing industry are doing their part, and Tooling U-SME applauds those who have stepped up to meet the global challenge.

"Manufacturing is experiencing a renewed growth in North America. However, this growth may be limited by the lack of skilled workers in today's high-tech, advanced manufacturing environment," said Toni Neary from Tooling U-SME's Government and Education Group. "Tooling U-SME is dedicated to working with instructors and school systems to provide training that meets the needs of manufacturers, and we want to congratulate our three newest Platinum Education Centers."

The programs honored this year are:

  • Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, Mich. which has integrated Tooling U-SME's online curriculum into their program and is now working to integrate with high schools, too;
  • Southern Maine Community College, Portland, Maine has a machine tool program that bridges with several area high schools;
  • Ozark Technical College, Springfield, Mo., has an accelerated 17-week machining manufacturing program that provides skilled workers in a timely manner.

The schools chosen have selected Tooling U's online curriculum, and offer a blended-learning format that trains specifically to the daily job functions of skilled workers. A learning portal provides multimedia manufacturing content and assessment exams for students and a simplified reporting process for instructors.

The more than 400 online classes in departments like abrasives, metal cutting, welding, and many others allow students to learn at their own pace while giving instructors extra time to teach in the classroom. Tooling U’s online content is robust and maps to industry credentialed standards such as NIMS, SME, MSSC and AWS.

Following the adoption of Tooling U online courses, students average a 16-18-percent knowledge gain in final testing. TU-SME's efforts to support the manufacturing community will continue as industry partners with schools to produce a knowledgeable and skilled workforce.

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About Tooling U-SME:

Tooling U-SME delivers versatile learning and development solutions to the manufacturing community. More than 210,000 individuals and 5,000 companies and educational institutions use our online learning and assessment programs and other training options to address workforce needs. Tooling U-SME is a division of SME, a 501(c)3 organization that has been gathering, validating and sharing manufacturing knowledge for more than 80 years.