Strong Manufacturing Communities Help Close the Skills Gap
Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME on
March 13, 2019
By now, we’ve all heard the daunting news: Nearly 3.5 million manufacturing
jobs will likely need to be filled over the next decade. And because of the
impending skills gap caused in large part by baby-boomer retirements and
changing technology, 2 million of those jobs are likely to remain unfilled.
What’s more, this shortage cannot quickly be remedied, as it takes an
average of 70 days to recruit skilled production workers.*
Making the situation worse, most common business pains — everything from
production errors to downtime — typically tie directly back to identifying,
recruiting and training a strong workforce.
So what can we do? Successful manufacturers are finding that it takes a
community to close the skills gap, build the next-generation workforce and
strengthen the future of U.S. manufacturing. And at Tooling U-SME, we’re
taking serious steps with educators and employers to build that community.
As part of our commitment to help educators and employers collaborate, we
recently partnered with Polar3D in the 2018-19 General Electric Additive
Education Program in support of our SME Education Foundation PRIME Schools.
Geared toward primary and secondary schools, the GE Additive Education
Program introduces students to additive manufacturing by allowing them to
learn and train with equipment that is powering the future of manufacturing
— in this case, a Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D printer.
Students at 25 SME PRIME high schools across the nation were among students
around the world who were selected to participate in the General Electric
Additive Education Program’s introduction to additive manufacturing.
Students gained access to software, curriculum and collaboration tools
through the Polar Cloud, which is a community of students, educators and
entrepreneurs who work together via a secure online platform. This
innovative collaboration connects leading 3D printing machines to bring
design, project-based learning and the art of "making" to every classroom
and showroom in the world.
As part of the program, SME PRIME schools featured additive manufacturing
educational content and certification opportunities from Tooling U-SME.
All in all, it’s a win-win situation for manufacturing students, educators
and employers. And it’s just one example of how the SME Education
Foundation and Tooling U-SME work together as a community to close the
skills gap and strengthen the future of manufacturing.
Learn more about the General Electric Additive Education Program and direct
your local primary, and secondary schools to apply for the 2019-2020 program.
*The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing: 2015 and Beyond, Deloitte and
The Manufacturing Institute, 2015
Interested in community-based manufacturing training initiatives? Read
Job Seekers and Employers Benefit From Community Training Programs
Community Partnerships Address Skills Gap
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