Fall’s Coming: Focus on Learning

  • Date: September 28, 2016
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

There is something about the change in the weather that fires up an urge for learning, no matter what age we are.

That makes it the perfect time for Corporate America to take a fresh look at its formal training and development programs. And it all begins with building a learning culture.

Take KYOCERA SGS Precision Tools, Inc. (KSPT), a solid carbide cutting tool manufacturer in Munroe Falls, Ohio. Read More.

Workforce 2021 Report: Gambler or Visionary?

  • Date: September 15, 2016
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

Back in 2011, as part of our Mission Critical: Workforce 2021 initiative, Tooling U-SME sounded the alarm that the future success of manufacturing is at risk by the end of the decade if industry does not address the growing skills gap.

To assess and gauge a company’s performance related to this challenge, we introduced a one-of-a-kind “Workforce 2021 Assessment” tool. Read More.

$50.5 Million Available for Apprenticeship Programs

  • Date: August 03, 2016
  • Posted by:Gretchen Schultz, Director of Workforce Development, Tooling U-SME

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that $50.5 million is available this year through the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants initiative.

This investment marks the first time that the Federal government is providing funding to support States in their efforts to expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeship to better respond to industry workforce demands.

This is good news for all parties: manufacturers, the workforce, educators and local economies. Read More.

A WWII Model for Supervisor Training Today

  • Date: July 20, 2016
  • Posted by:John Hindman, Director of Learning Services, Tooling U-SME

In workshops, I often play a World War II training video to show the difference between a well-trained supervisor and one that is inadvertently costing the company time, money and good employees.

Every time I watch the first “wrong way” scenario, my heart aches for both the supervisor and the trainee. The supervisor doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. And, with no guidance, the new employee makes mistake after mistake, works unsafely, and ends up quitting.

Yet, this damaging approach to training is not the supervisor’s fault — it is the organization’s responsibility to train him. Read More.

Graduating to Real Life

  • Date: June 29, 2016
  • Posted by:Krista Maurer

As “Pomp and Circumstance” rings out across the nation, Career and Technical Education (CTE) students — and parents — are hoping high school skills translate to jobs.

One program that is removing the guesswork is the West Virginia Department of Education’s Simulated Workplace. Students from the program are heading into manufacturing careers with strong technical skills and real-life work experience. Read More.

Apprenticeships Done Right

  • Date: June 09, 2016
  • Posted by:Krista Maurer

In September, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $175 million to 46 applicants through its American Apprenticeship grant competition. This investment highlights the importance of this training approach for helping fill the many job openings in manufacturing today.

One of our customer partners, Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan, is an example of a school doing apprenticeships right. They have 120 apprentices working for about 40 companies. Some local businesses employ as many as 14 apprentices at a time. Read More.

Five Best Practices For Building A Strong Workforce

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

Last year, the average training investment per employee across all industries was $1,229. That sounds promising, right? When we isolate the industry to manufacturing, however, that number falls to just $745.20 per employee.

This lack of commitment to workforce development is surprising, since we know that world-class companies are outperforming others in large part because they manage and train their workforces differently. Read More.

Go Non-Traditional with Training

  • Date: April 26, 2016
  • Posted by:Krista Maurer

Nearly nine out of 10 manufacturers (88 percent) said their company is having problems finding skilled workers in manufacturing, according to Tooling U-SME’s upcoming Readiness Assessment Insights Report (shhhh…don’t tell that we are sharing this stat early!).

That skilled labor gap is impacting quality, innovation, profitability and more. And, you’ve heard it before: this shortage is expected to increase by the year 2021. Read More.

Tying Training ROI to the Bottom Line

  • Date: April 04, 2016
  • Posted by:Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME

One of the frequently asked questions at our recent tuX event was: how do I convince upper management there is a return on investment (ROI) for training?

It’s a common struggle. While human resources teams, plant managers and supervisors recognize that substandard training can lead to productivity, quality and safety concerns, many don’t know how to communicate the value of investing in human capital to higher-level decision makers. Read More.

Dial Up? What’s That?

  • Date: February 18, 2016
  • Posted by:Therese Schustrich, Account Executive Workforce Education, Tooling U-SME

It’s amazing to look back and see just how far technology has come in a few short years.
I was reminded of this recently when talking with our friends (and long-time customers) over at Ogden-Weber Tech College in Ogden, Utah. Back in 2004, responding to local employer need for a strong pipeline of manufacturing workers, the school placed a bold bet on technology. They introduced online training as part of a blended learning approach.
As Bret Holmes, machinist coordinator and instructor, reminded us, “Back in 2004, there was no T-1 connection – it was all dial up.”  Read More.

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