Looking Back at Tooling U-SME’s Progress in 2018

Posted By: Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME on December 11, 2018

Looking Back at Tooling U-SME’s Progress in 2018

As I look back on 2018, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. From new partnerships to product launches, we introduced initiatives and secured programs that will positively impact the training and development of the incumbent and next-generation manufacturing workforce – now and in the future.

Apprenticeships gained good traction this year, due in large part to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, a national training system that connects job seekers looking to learn new skills with employers looking for qualified workers. For some time, Tooling U-SME has been building relationships with manufacturing associations and workforce agencies to increase the number of apprenticeship programs across the country. And 2018 signaled our continuation with these apprenticeship efforts, as evidenced by some noteworthy appearances and collaborations:

  • Earlier this year, I appeared before the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce to testify about Tooling U-SME’s collaborative apprenticeship initiatives, highlighting industry-leading apprenticeship programs sponsored by the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, Cox Manufacturing in San Antonio, Texas, and the Westside Industrial Retention & Expansion Network, also known as WIRE-Net.
  • The South Bay Workforce Investment Board and the Aero-Flex Unilateral Apprenticeship Committee, which includes Tooling U-SME, launched the first Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeship program in the U.S.
  • Robert C. Byrd Institute’s first industry-vetted and DoL-approved framework for a new 3D Printing Technician Apprenticeship was co-developed with Tooling U-SME, America Makes, the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers and AST2.
  • The National Electrical Manufacturers Association workforce committee of members partnered with Tooling U-SME to develop the framework for a nationwide, two-year Mechanical Technician Pre-Apprentice program, aimed at junior and senior high school students.

We were also busy forming partnerships that will further aid our efforts to boost the pipeline of skilled talent:

  • We launched a new initiative with the NCDMM, America Makes, and Thomas P. Miller & Associates to strengthen the industrial base and provide advanced manufacturing training to those employed in the defense manufacturing sector. This collaborative effort has resulted in a Department of Defense grant, through the Office of Naval Research, to support the Manufacturing Engineering Education Program.
  • As a founding member of the National Coalition for Career Development, Tooling U-SME participated in a summit along with others from government, business, and education from across the country to kick off a nationwide movement making career development a priority in the American education system.
  • We finalized a program with UL to align training and certification to create a single source for professional additive manufacturing certification, as the industry embarks on adopting new technologies in additive.
  • A collaboration with GE Global Research, Southwest Research Institute, IEEE GlobalSpec, Vistex, Fuzehub and Army Benet Laboratory is helping Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing strengthen U.S. manufacturing and increase workforce capabilities in robotics.
  • We integrated customized training solutions for partners within the Manufacturing Extension Partnership network, including MEP centers in Maryland, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
  • We partnered with MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center San Antonio, a U.S. Department of Commerce funded agency that promotes the growth of minority-owned business, to help expand workforce education across the country.

We expanded our e-learning content offerings, launching 40 new classes on topics ranging from additive, mechanical systems, fluid systems, machining, workholding and more. The new offerings include a series of online classes dedicated to the NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Standards) Fast-Track training program.

Also, in 2018 we released a new workforce study, the “Industry Pulse: 2018 Manufacturing Workforce Report,” highlighting the most critical training and development pain points manufacturers encounter today, along with suggested solutions for tackling those challenges.

We are indeed proud of these and all our other accomplishments in 2018 and look forward to forming new alliances with manufacturers, academia and employment agencies that will allow us to expand education for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. There is a bright future ahead for the manufacturing industry, and as the sector grows, we will be there to prepare the workforce to build their skills. We believe our ability to make a difference is greatly enhanced when we form partnerships with a common mission and purpose. Thanks to our partners for making 2018 a year of success!

Everyone at Tooling U-SME wishes you and yours a holiday season filled with joy and peace.

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