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Welcome Back!

All of us at Tooling U-SME wish you a wonderful new school year. As we start fresh, we wanted to share some news and insights that showcase the important role of education in the manufacturing world. Without a doubt, your efforts each day are paying off, delivering well-trained and competent employees to an industry that is the backbone of our economy. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or need any help as you introduce (or reintroduce) your students to the joys of online training.

-Your Tooling U-SME Team

Student Success: The Right Students, in the Right Programs,
for the Right Reasons

Mark Perna, Founder, Tools for Schools

Mark Perna, Founder, Tools for Schools

Millennials are the future of manufacturing. We asked Mark Perna, the founder of Tools for Schools, to share his thoughts and insights on the best ways to motivate this important group.

Why do students succeed? Not because they’re hounded about homework, not because they’re enrolled in a program, and not because their parents want them to pursue a particular career. Students succeed when they are motivated from within — when they’re the right students, in the right programs, for the right reasons. When they feel the branch creak beneath them and catch the urgency of their own dreams, they will create their own success. So how can we help our students reach this point?

At Tools for Schools™, we’ve found that understanding what motivates the Millennial Generation is key. Millennials are all about the experiences of life — they want to taste, touch, smell, hear, and feel their world. And that means that from prospective students through graduates, we engage them by making our education options as experiential as possible.

We take something abstract, like “the future” — and make it real: your lifestyle. Our “Light at the End of the Tunnel” strategy helps students see career training as the pathway to an enjoyable lifestyle rather than a chore to be completed. When we spotlight the rewards that matter to them, we help them set a pattern for life success.

Career-tech education is uniquely poised to deliver the experience-driven, hands-on training that Millennial learners crave. And when you can help the right students get into the right programs for the right reasons, you’ll see them succeed beyond what they imagined was possible. They can do it. You can help!

Mark C. Perna is the founder of Tools for Schools, a full-service marketing and consulting firm that specializes in helping educational organizations of all sizes nationwide to attract and retain more of the right students, in the right programs, for the right reasons. To contact Mark, call 216-215-8115, email, or visit

Behind the Scenes

New graduate Nyki and her daughter

New graduate Nyki and her daughter

When it comes to getting students excited about manufacturing, nobody does it better than Edge Factor's Jeremy Bout. Tooling U-SME recently partnered with Jeremy to create a series of commercials called, "Manufacturing the Workforce of Tomorrow." The first in the series features Bob from Mesa Community College (see case study below). Using online content gives him the confidence that his students, like Nyki, are prepared for the real world. We welcome you to take a look.

Case Study: Mesa Community College Successfully Trains Next Generation in Advanced Manufacturing

Learn how the Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AzAMI) of Mesa Community College (MCC) is helping meet the need for qualified, employable workers in the advanced manufacturing sectors, industries vital to Arizona. AzAMI is a terrific model, successfully building on workers’ prior experience, aligning training to industry needs and using innovative approaches to learning including (we are proud to say!) Tooling U-SME online courses.

View the Case Study

Congrats to the Skills USA Winners!

Congrats to the Skills USA Winners!

One of our favorite events this summer was SkillsUSA, the 50th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, in Kansas City. We were so impressed by the students and instructors that we met there. A big congratulations to our partner schools with students placing in the competitions!


  • Automated Manufacturing Technology: Madison Area Tech College, Madison, WI
  • CNC Milling: Ranken Technical College, St. Louis, MO
  • Precision Machining Technology: Saint Clair TEC, Marysville, MI
  • Precision Machining Technology: Linn State Technical College, Linn, MO


  • CNC Milling: Saint Clair TEC, Marysville, MI
  • CNC Milling: Renton Technical College, Renton, WA
  • CNC Turning: Greenville Technical College, Greenville SC


  • CNC Milling: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI
  • CNC Turning: Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA
  • Precision Machining Technology, Hillyard Tech Center, Saint Joseph, MO

Tips & Tricks

Whether your students (or you!) need a Tooling U refresher after summer break or are just getting started with online training, we have lots of tools that can help. Here is a list of new tutorials (videos and documents) that are available in the admin and student sides.

Basic Subscription Rollout
Setting Up Groups
Setting Up Admin and Assigning Admin to Groups
Creating Custom Class Programs
Adding Classes
How to Change Permissions For Students
Individual Student Reports
Help & Support

Updated Documents Posted Under Site Help/Community
Adding Competencies to Students
Approving Competencies and Tasks
Tooling U Minimum Technical Requirements 3rd Party LMS
Tooling U Minimum Technical Requirements Online
Tooling U-SME Admin Guide

Page Tutorial

Upcoming Events

Stop by and say hi to the Tooling U-SME Government & Education Group at the following upcoming events:

  • IMTS Smartforce Student Summit, September 8-13, 2014, Chicago, Ilinois. We are pleased to join our colleagues at the SME Education Foundation booth, C-847, in North-Hall C, McCormick Place, where visitors can make their own jewelry using 3D printing technologies. Additionally, schools will be able to form teams of four to compete in a wind turbine challenge. Prizes will be awarded each day and you may even score the grand prize — 3D Equipment for your school!

  • National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) Fall Conference , Oct. 8-10, 2014, Houston, Texas.

  • National Conference for Workforce Education (NCWE) Annual Conference, October 30-31, 2014, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Visit or call 866-706-8665 today

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