Honoring the Best in Manufacturing Training

Posted By: Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME on May 17, 2022

2022 Excellence in Manufacturing Award

We are thrilled to announce that SME’s 2022 Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award goes to AGC Automotive North America, a world-leading manufacturer of Automotive Safety Glass, based in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Congratulations to the AGC training team!

Before we tell you about why we selected AGC, first, we’d like to thank the manufacturers from across the country who shared submissions outlining their impressive workforce development programs.

As an organization dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing, SME understands the importance of having corporate recruitment, retention, and development strategies as a key pillar of strategic planning for a business.

These strong entries make us hopeful for our industry as we work together to develop the next generation manufacturing workforce.


Celebrating Manufacturing Training

For background, now in its third year, SME’s Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award honors a manufacturer, like AGC, that demonstrates an exceptional commitment and dedication to upskilling the workforce, enhancing talent, and preparing new and incumbent employees for a successful career in the manufacturing industry.

The ongoing workforce crisis in manufacturing motivated us to document, celebrate and share best practices with others looking to make talent development a core strategic pillar.

Sharing these best practices helps other companies evolve their workforce development efforts and, ultimately, strengthen the manufacturing industry’s competitiveness.


Blended, Structured Training for Maximum Effectiveness

This year’s award-winner, AGC, provides plenty of inspiration. We are impressed by AGC’s commitment to developing its workforce of more than 500 associates through a world-class training and development program that helps drive business success.

Back in 2016, AGC established a Training Team to focus specifically on the skills gap. AGC’s training and development strategy follows the company’s corporate philosophy “Look Beyond,” a continuous improvement mindset to ensure high product quality and safety.

The centerpiece of AGC’s successful training and development program is a standardized four-phase framework (Foundational, Core, On-The-Job-Training, and Job Qualification Evaluation) that develops and assesses competencies to ensure associates are performing safely and to the standards of the job.

AGC’s learning and development commitment is underscored by its robust Train the Trainer course.

Spencer Noel, Training and Development Staff Associate, AGC, told us, “People are the foundation of all AGC accomplishes. Training is an essential investment in our associates, and Leadership regularly communicates the impact everyone’s individual success has on the company as a whole.”

He added that management support, which encourages constant communication between process subject matter experts and the training group, has been crucial to their efforts to develop a world-class training program.

Other noteworthy elements of the program include:

  • Blended learning approach with self-paced learning, workshops, and live trainings (exploring new training technologies such as virtual and augmented reality).
  • Evaluations, completed by a third party, for critical tasks related to safety and quality.
  • Metrics for achieving competency and qualification time tracking.
  • QR systems with line-side tools to retrieve the most up-to-date instructions or procedures.
  • Active solicitation of feedback to encourage continual improvement.
  • As needed daily and formal monthly communication between production and training group.

You can hear more about AGC’s gold-standard program by joining us at our industry workforce event, tuX event June 8-9, 2022, in Pittsburgh.

With our 2022 Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award, we are pleased to recognize AGC for the effective implementation of best practices in training programs to build a high performing workforce.

Congratulations, AGC!

Tags: "AGC Automotive", "Automotive Safety Glass", "blended learning", Evaluation, "Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award", "Job Qualification", manufacturing, On-The-Job-Training, recruiting, retention, SME, "Train the Trainer", "workforce development"