Building That Pipeline. One Apprentice at a Time.

  • Date: April 13, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

At Tooling U-SME, we have the privilege of working with hundreds of manufacturers of all sizes across the country. We hear about their challenges with filling the people pipeline and are happy to share winning strategies and solutions from other companies that once faced similar struggles.

One company we hold up as a role model is KYOCERA SGS Precision Tools (KSPT), based in Munroe Falls, Ohio, which produces solid carbide cutting tools. This 65-year-old manufacturer is the epitome of a high-impact learning organization (HILO). Read More.

Drive Business Results: Lessons from tuX Experts

  • Date: April 06, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

As our upcoming high-performance workforce conference tuX approaches, I am so inspired. . . and encouraged about the future of manufacturing.

This is our sixth tuX event, and it keeps getting better. This year’s gathering presents the best of theory and application when it comes to building a high-performance workforce and driving measureable business results.

Kevin Martin, Chief Research and Marketing Officer, i4cp, a human capital research and data firm, will kick it off with a keynote address, “Four Steps to Building a Learning Culture.” Read More.

The Ultimate Industry Meet Up

  • Date: March 30, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

Each year, the team at Tooling U-SME is privileged to host an event that celebrates an astounding show of industry camaraderie and shared commitment to the future of manufacturing. The venue is tuX, our annual gathering of manufacturers passionate about developing a high-performance workforce.

It is an impressive meet up of whip-smart professionals — often competitors — focused on how the development of human capital can bring a valuable return on investment to their organization. Read More.

Identifying Training ROI in Four Steps

  • Date: March 23, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

While world-class manufacturers know an investment in human capital is critical for achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage, less savvy companies relegate training and development to a minor expense line in the annual budget.

For the benefit of the industry, and our nation, which relies on a strong manufacturing sector for prosperity, this must change. Training and development needs to be treated like other investments presented to top management, with value substantiated. Read More.

CTE Programs: Overcoming Funding Challenges

  • Date: March 16, 2017
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

As graduation approaches, Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs around the country are focused on preparing high school students to be employer-ready.

Manufacturers eagerly await this influx of students into the workforce. Without a doubt, CTE plays a large role in solving the skills gap.

Yet with continuing budget cuts, many CTE programs face financial challenges related to program funding for up-to-date curriculum, equipment, and technology. This impacts their ability to develop the next generation of workers. Read More.

Know the Difference between a Grill and a Smoker?

  • Date: March 09, 2017
  • Posted by:David Mack

As a sales professional, you know the difference in selling value versus price, but do you have the fundamental technical knowledge to be able to sell on value? Fundamental technical knowledge is the key to understanding your customers’ greatest challenges and how your product can improve their operations. Fundamental technical knowledge is what will make you your customers’ trusted advisor and transform your sales process from a transaction to a relationship. Read More.

New Year’s Resolution…Reboot Training in your Sales Organization

  • Date: January 16, 2017
  • Posted by:David Mack

How were your sales last year? Did you blow away your quota? Make your numbers? If so, congratulations! You are in great shape for 2017.

If not (sadly, more than half of sales reps fail to meet their sales plan), it may be time to give your sales performance a boost with training in the New Year. Read More.

Not Your Grandfather’s Apprenticeship Program

  • Date: December 15, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning Services, Tooling U-SME

Around for generations, apprenticeships, which allow employees to earn while they learn, are seeing a renaissance as the manufacturing industry addresses the skills gap.

But these aren’t your grandfather’s apprenticeship programs. Today, informal, time-based programs are out. Formal, competency-based programs are in. Read More.

New 80:10:10 Learning Model

  • Date: November 17, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning Services, Tooling U-SME

The retirement of millions of experienced and knowledgeable workers is creating a situation similar to that during World War II, when the incumbent manufacturing workforce went off to war and a new workforce was needed.

Out of necessity, on-the-job training (OJT) programs were developed to provide the standardization needed to quickly build a strong, reliable and safe workforce.

Today, there is a need to bring back these strong practices. This approach is critical due to the lack of strong competency-based apprenticeship programs and an incoming, often unskilled workforce. Read More.

Upskilling on Steroids

  • Date: October 27, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning Services, Tooling U-SME

I’m out in the field…a lot. Here’s what I see: manufacturers are starting to grasp the repercussions of the skills gap due to retirements and a thin pipeline if they don’t take action.

While more than half of manufacturers say they do not have a plan for filling this shortage by 2021, the good news is that the other half are taking steps.

Now that some manufacturers have seen the light, their immediate focus? Accelerating training. Read More.

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