New SME Award Honors Excellence in Manufacturing Workforce Training

Posted By: Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME on October 08, 2020

tooling u-sme's excellence in manufacturing training award logo

Immediate workforce development is crucial to manufacturing’s future. In response, high-impact learning organizations (HILOs) are taking steps now to prepare more workers for the next generation of jobs.

These manufacturers know that investing in people is as critical as investing in equipment or technology and that it has a direct connection to their success. According to a study by Bersin & Associates, HILOs — which have a strong learning foundation in place — tend to significantly outperform their peers in several areas, including time to market, employee productivity, responsiveness to customers, product quality, the ability to meet future demand, and market share.

SME is excited to honor these forward-thinking organizations by presenting our new Excellence in Manufacturing Training award to a manufacturing company that demonstrates an exceptional commitment and dedication to talent development, recruitment and retention. By highlighting companies that have strong workforce development programs, we hope to provide valuable insight and inspiration to companies that are not as far along the talent strategy journey.

The winner of SME’s Excellence in Manufacturing Training award will have formal training and structured on-the-job (OJT) programs that tie directly to the bottom line, learning solutions that are aligned with business and job needs, and well-defined performance-based competency models. The winning organization will also be one that measures the effectiveness of its training and modifies training as necessary to provide a positive impact on employee and organizational performance.

Benefits to receiving the award are many. If your organization wins, you can:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement in the manufacturing process
  • Elevate your reputation as an employer of choice, attracting talent to your workforce
  • Showcase your success, attracting new business
  • Receive an official, display-ready SME Excellence in Manufacturing Training award
  • Tell your story via a webinar and podcast marketed by Tooling U-SME
  • Be recognized in a Tooling U-SME press release, SME Media’s Manufacturing Engineering and Smart Manufacturing magazines, Tooling U-SME publications and blogs, and on the SME and Tooling U-SME websites and social media channels

2020 Winner


After reading impressive entries, our panel of judges selected a winner. Congratulations to Milbank Manufacturing!

We are inspired to see how a 93-year-old company is at the forefront of training and development. This philosophy of innovation goes back to 1927 when Charlie Milbank set the standard for quality metering equipment and enclosures. Milbank remains a family-owned company, rooted in innovation and committed to growth. Today, with three American manufacturing facilities located in Kansas City, Missouri; Concordia, Missouri; and El Dorado, Arkansas; Milbank products can be found in 37 countries around the world.

Whether you’re part of a large manufacturing company or a small-to medium-sized enterprise, you’re eligible to apply for the SME Excellence in Manufacturing Training award by downloading and completing the online application. We will update this post when online applications for 2021 are open. Stay tuned!



Tags: "Excellence in Manufacturing Training award", "high-impact learning organization", HILO, OJT, "on-the-job training", "Tooling U-SME", "workforce development"