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Innovative Workforce Development Models from 3 Manufacturing Communities


Now, more than ever, manufacturing employers and their communities are challenged to find new and increasingly collaborative models for addressing their workforce development needs. Whether building the pipeline or upskilling the manufacturing workforce, many of these collaborations benefit from proven methodologies and often draw from a number of resources and innovative program designs.

In this webinar, we showcase three successful programs from Uniquely Abled, the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the SME Education Foundation. Gain insights as we share outcomes and discuss critical success factors when funding, building, and deploying these programs together. Hear inspiring examples where Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies are changing lives and making a lasting impact.

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Drilling - Metal Cutting Technology 


Drilling is a critical operation carried out late in the production cycle after considerable time and resources have already been invested. Manufacturing professionals need to understand drilling best practices in order to improve productivity and profitability.

Watch this webinar as our experts discussed how to find drilling tools and solutions that will help you achieve excellent hole results for a variety of machining conditions, materials, and application types. You will walk away with these key concepts:

  1.   Basic drilling theory – terminology
  2.   Good drilling practices ​​​​​​
  3.   Chip control and evacuation
  4.   Tool holding

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The Smart Manufacturing Revolution


Manufacturers have been slow to move on Smart Manufacturing, but 2020 changed all that. Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing initiatives are on the rise because many manufacturers now understand that it is not just about improving performance, it is about improving the agility to pivot production to meet the fast-changing demands of the market. As this revolution permeates the manufacturing landscape, manufacturers left behind will lose their competitive edge and opportunities to participate in the new highly connected digital manufacturing ecosystems.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Understand why manufacturers are implementing Smart Manufacturing, the benefits they are realizing, and the competitive consequences of falling behind
  • Learn about the Smart Factory through examples of how others have initiated their Smart Manufacturing transformation
  • See firsthand how data and AI are changing processes, expectations for the workforce, and leading a cultural shift in the Smart Factory

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Attract and Retain to Sustain Manufacturing 


This webinar will cover current trends in attraction and retention in manufacturing and how learning and development can strengthen your multigenerational workforce.

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Review current attraction and retention trends across the country
  2. Learn best practices in onboarding in the manufacturing industry
  3. Gain an understanding of how training can improve employee satisfaction and retention rate

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Milling Best Practices 


As machining technology and tooling continue to evolve and advance, so do the best practices related to your milling processes. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Basic milling theory – terminology, calculating cutting data
  • Good milling practices
  • Importance of correct techniques in determining tool path
  • Chip thinning 

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Team Building- Leadership In Manufacturing Webinar Series


Effective manufacturing leaders are aware of how mindsets offer a pathway into learning and growth potential. This webinar offers a look into how leaders in the manufacturing industry communicate and lead more effectively by understanding the different mindsets.

Key Takeaways:

  • Communicating on purpose to achieve better results
  • Recognizing barriers in communication to clear the path for clear outcomes
  • Listening for understanding
  • Understanding characteristics of good leadership

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Stress Management - Leadership In Manufacturing Webinar Series


Liten to this one-hour webinar on demand and learn how to recognize stress triggers and to identify ways you can become a more supportive and effective leader in the manufacturing industry. 

Key takeaways:

  • Learn about the different aspects of stressors and their causes

  • Identify ways to turn negative stress into something valuable

  • Discover how to be a valuable leader and give real support

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Time Management - Leadership In Manufacturing Webinar Series


During this one-hour leadership webinar, we discussed leadership and time management and ways in which you can become more productive.

Key Concepts:

  • Discover your relationship with time
  • Utilize time-saving techniques to be more effective
  • Learn how to use delegation as a time-saving tool
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Five Important Concepts in Strengthening & Heat Treating Steel & Aluminum Alloys


This one-hour webinar is a survival course for those whose job requires knowledge of strengthening and heat treatment processes in steel and aluminum alloys and is designed to provide engineers, welders, and heat treaters with conceptual knowledge which will reinforce practical know-how.

Key Concepts:

  • Strengthening mechanisms in metals
  • Recrystallization temperature
  • Effect of carbon on the properties of steel
  • Effect of alloying elements on the properties of steel
  • Solution, quench, and aging of precipitation strengthened aluminum alloys
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Excellence In Manufacturing Training Award: Milbank Manufacturing


Listen On Demand and hear Milbank leaders share their insights and best practices for identifying, creating, and implementing on-the-job training and leadership development as well as their plan for adapting to change in manufacturing processes.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Learn how Milbank implemented TWI Job Instruction training in the Manufacturing process and the challenges encountered along the way
  2. Learn about Milbank's Leadership Development program and the opportunities provided to staff members
  3. Understand how changes affected associate morale in the facilities and the next steps for Milbank
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Leadership Communication Skills


Effective manufacturing leaders have good leadership communication skills and are aware of how mindsets offer a pathway into learning and growth potential. 

Get a look into how leaders in the manufacturing industry communicate and lead more effectively by understanding the different mindsets. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Communicating on purpose to achieve better results
  2. Recognizing barriers in communication to clear the path for clear outcomes
  3. Listening for understanding
  4. Practicing characteristics of good leadership
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Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality in Manufacturing Training Solutions


Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Technologies (XR Technologies) are poised to change the way we work, shop, play and learn. Watch this webinar as representatives from BMW and Sify discuss an overview of XR technologies, market trends and best practices in using XR technologies.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Overview of XR Technologies
  2. Learn how and why XR technologies are being used in manufacturing training solutions
  3. Understand best practices and trends in XR training applications
  4. Learn how BMW is using XR technologies in its training programs
  5. Learn about Tooling U-SME XR product roadmap
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Electrical Troubleshooting


Learn how Instructor-Led electrical troubleshooting classes can help your company identify and resolve electrical problems that could result in costly downtimes. 

4 Key Takeaways: 

  1. The seven-step approach to identify and correct electrical problems 
  2. Types of motor control components and how they are connected to control a motor 
  3. How a simple motor control circuit operates 
  4. How electrical test equipment is used to troubleshoot motor control circuits 

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The Additive Farm: Growing Towards Production


On October 22, General Motors (GM) presented The Additive Farm: Growing Towards Production and discussed their additive roadmap and how it continues to influence automotive productions. 

This webinar offers five key takeaways:

  1. Sifting through the AM Hype
  2. AM Resources within GM
  3. AM COVID response
  4. GM AM Applications
  5. What it took to accelerate AM at GM

Presented by:

General Motors


Ali Shabbir, engineering group manager, Additive Manufacturing Product Applications, and Dominick Lentine, team manager, Additive Manufacturing Engineering.

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Additive Manufacturing gets Better, Faster and Cheaper with Training!


One goal of additive manufacturing training is to provide guidance to organizations in recognizing cost-savings opportunities. To do this, engineers must begin to design with additive manufacturing in mind. Without that central shift in development, additive manufacturing would never make business sense; with that simple shift, it is possible to design out significant cost drivers.

This webinar discusses enhanced team-based learning as a cost-saving tool, with a particular focus on design for additive manufacturing.

Presented by:

The Barnes Global Advisors


Founding Director John Barnes, along with ADDvisors® Tim Simpson and Chelsea Cummings.

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Managing Manufacturing Competitiveness After a Pandemic with a TP3 Approach


Coronavirus quarantines have shuttered facilities and disrupted global supply chains. Flexibility to continue production is crucial for the industry to move forward during and after an emergency. This webinar will help manufacturers understand how to build a smart lean ecosystem and learn how to function during three crucial stages:

  • Managing essential business operations during the pandemic
  • Navigating operational shut down through the “shelter-in-place” phase, and
  • Restarting manufacturing with new safety protocols

By focusing on people, processes, and products and leveraging technology, attendees will learn how to adapt their businesses and stay competitive during a crisis.

Presented by:

Ananth Iyer
Senior Associate Dean, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University
Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair in Operations Management

Steve Dunlop
Managing Director of Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises (DCMME) and Global Supply Chain Management Initiative (GSCMI)

Roy Vasher
Assistant Professor, Purdue EMDA Program Purdue-WHIN Education Consultant
Lean Consultant

Dr. Angus McLeod
Education Consultant, Purdue University


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Lean in the Age of COVID-19


Many understand “lean” as limited to optimizing the efficiency of existing manufacturing processes. With that narrow idea, it is hard to see how lean is relevant when so many lives have been upended by the effects of the novel coronavirus. Lean was born in a time of instability, confusion, and scarcity. For decades lean has provided direction, a framework for action, and inspiration through periods of disaster and disruption. In this webinar, we will explore the origins of lean and how it can help people learn in new situations, be more resilient, adaptive, and grow problem-solving capacity.


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Design for "X" and Design for Manufacturing/Assembly


Design for X (DFX) is sometimes called Design for Excellence or Design for Everything. DFX is a process to achieve improvements in your products and manufacturing processes, along with a product’s quality, cost and time to market. The process requires that all inputs, goals, and constraints be shared early in the development process of the product. Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is an improvement in the relative ease of manufacturing and assembly of a product at the earliest possible stage of design. The DFM process roadmap provides timely, step-by-step actions from product concept to delivery


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Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Application in support of DFM/DFA


GD&T is the only common language used by all the players in product development through manufacturing and inspection, to ensure functionality of the design, manufacturing consistency in setup and production, and consistency in inspection and test. To help everyone understand proper GD&T application and usage, numerous “cheat sheets” will be discussed and include:

  • The ultimate GD&T design tool, the “GD&T Designer’s Decision-Making Flow Chart, v.2018.
  • GD&T Summary Charts •GD&T Checklists for Functionality, Design, Manufacturing, Inspectability, and Castings

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Benchmarking: Assessing Workforce Capability for Current and Future Needs


Traditionally, manufacturing has emphasized productivity over staff development. However, forward-thinking leaders know that tools like benchmarking assessments offer a means to measure workforce competencies against other goals. Gaps can lead to prioritized training initiatives that reflect an organization’s trajectory. The result is well-spent, targeted training that directly impacts organizational needs. Simply put, assessments save time and money.

This webinar looks at best practices surrounding designing, communicating and implementing a benchmark assessment. Topics include: 1. Cultural reactions to testing, 2. Benefits of testing, and 3. Action steps once testing is complete. Presented by John Hindman, Tooling U-SME Director of Learning Services.


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Cross-Training: Creating a Flexible Workforce for When It Is Needed Most


A strategic cross-training program displays a proactive plan to maintain business performance, despite the temporary loss of key employees or groups. A cross-trained workforce will keep your production on track, maintain customer satisfaction, enhance workers’ ongoing development, and protect the finances of the business.

This webinar looks at best practices surrounding setting up, testing and implementing a cross-training program. Topics include: 1. Implementation challenges, 2. Benefits for both the company and the employee, 3. Best practices in design and implementation, and 4. Tools and techniques. Presented by John Hindman, Tooling U-SME Director of Learning Services.


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Strategic Onboarding: Developing Core Capabilities When Surge Hiring Workers


In recent years, companies have slowly replaced retiring skilled workers. Today’s environment may require hiring a surge of workers concurrently which poses risks to safety, quality, productivity, and retention if sound practices are not followed. This webinar will cover best practices in onboarding surge workers and validating required competencies for success. Topics include: challenges of hiring surge workers without a strategic onboarding strategy, best practices in designing/implementing onboarding, techniques to define a core competency, and tools for training under social distancing. Presented by John Hindman, Tooling U-SME Director of Learning Services.


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Industry Pulse: 2018 Manufacturing Workforce Report


Listen to a discussion about the skills gap and real-world solutions with panelists including:

  • Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME and vice president of training and development
  • Michael Freed, Manager, Manufacturing Solutions, Workforce Development, Sinclair Community College
  • Delane Sloan, Senior Manager of Human Resources at F&P America


“Lean In” to Continuous Improvement


Lean methodology aims to deliver maximum value while minimizing waste. When implemented as an overarching business philosophy, lean drives sustainable improvements and results within an organization, offering immense value for both businesses and individuals. Implementing lean can encourage an organization’s continuous improvement and long-term competitive success through the relentless pursuit of eliminating waste, overburden, and unevenness or irregularities. Individuals who earn Lean Certification often drive cultural changes and lead an organization’s transformation into a Lean Enterprise.



Filling the Manufacturing Skills Gap with College-Sponsored Apprenticeships


Rebecca Lake PhD., Dean of Workforce Development at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, describes how the school is spearheading college-sponsored apprenticeship programs to fill the skills gap for local manufacturers.



Learning the ROI on Training


Learning the ROI on Training: How to Effectively Measure the Return on Investment of Employee Learning and Development Programs. Stakeholders of workforce learning and development programs can change the narrative regarding the importance of a well-trained workforce’s positive impact on the business. Companies who invest in high-impact learning and development yield large gains in productivity and quality.



21st Century Apprenticeship: Building Employee Pipelines, Engagement and Retention


Employers need to find ways to develop and retain highly skilled workers. Apprenticeship programs are a structured way to build high performers and provide career pathways for employees. But, today’s apprenticeship programs are not like your father’s apprenticeship programs. Flexibility and employer-driven competencies are core to the modern approach to apprenticeship.



Optimize Your Manufacturing Hands-on Training Using E-Learning

April 25, 2018

For years, instructors in manufacturing have been teaching students with the traditional method of classroom related instruction then hands-on training in the lab. And it’s no secret that they prefer the hands-on portion of that training but know that the theory is mandatory. Today we’re discussing how to provide you, the instructor, with what you want, more time in the lab and less administrative tasks like writing curriculum, long hours of classroom lectures and grading exams.



Embracing Millennials: Closing the Manufacturing Skills Gap and Gaining a Competitive Edge


It’s no secret that the future of manufacturing will be in jeopardy if the industry does not face the growing skills gap. The baby boomers are retiring and manufacturers are falling short with skilled succession plans behind them. The solution to this critical challenge is right in front of us. Millennials represent our greatest opportunity to meet the workforce needs! Tooling U-SME will discuss how Millennials, with their curiosity and desire to push boundaries, offer a unique perspective for the workplace: one that can lead to loyal employees and strong business results.






Destiny of Manufacturing | Solving the Workforce Challenge

April 9, 2021

As a recognized authority on workforce development and training for the manufacturing community, Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME is focused on building the capabilities of today’s and tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce. Her vision and passion have put her at the forefront of workforce management issues — providing innovative solutions for companies, academia, and individuals. Listen to this podcast and learn more about how embracing technology in manufacturing is vital to building a strong workforce and how manufacturers can implement training programs that can help decrease turnover and increase productivity.


Tackling the Skills Gap: Leveraging Millennials and Gen Z

February 22, 2021


Description: There is not a lot that all manufacturers of every type and size have in common, but all struggle with same challenge—the skills gap and a changing workforce. John Hindman, Director, Learning and Performance Improvement at Tooling U-SME, sits down with Chris Mahar, Associate Editor, to talk about how manufacturers can benefit from today’s multigenerational workforce. Hear John talk about best practices for training millennials and Gen Z workers to become high performers, and other workforce tips and tricks.


Online Learning Is Here to Stay: Buy In, Get Started, Love It

March 25, 2020

Online learning opportunities have become essential to nearly every school and college in the nation during the COVID-19 crisis. We are proud to offer competency-based learning solutions that schools can quickly implement so they can continue to serve the needs of their technical students.

We have recording sessions with several Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructors so other schools and colleges can hear how these early adopters have introduced and optimized an elearning program. Today, we are pleased to welcome Tim Blizzard, Instructor Machine Technology from Carroll County Career and Technology Center as he shares valuable insights on how to implement elearning and overcome possible objections.


Blending Online Learning With Hands-On Experience: A Proven Approach

March 26, 2020

In light of the social distancing that is needed to combat COVID-19, most colleges have had to convert to a totally online educational model. For nearly 20 years, Tooling U-SME has been helping community colleges and manufacturing companies train their students and workforce. We are pleased to partner with our nation’s educators to facilitate their shift to the virtual classroom.

We have recorded sessions with instructors so other colleges can learn best practices, avoid pitfalls and quickly convert to an online learning environment. Today is the fourth in a five-part series and we are pleased to welcome Tad Montgomery, Lead Instructor, Machine Tool Technology from Calhoun Community College.


Using Online Learning and Hands-On Experience in a Competency-Based Machinist Program

March 25, 2020

Online learning is a powerful educational resource and combined with hands-on experience can be even more valuable. We are proud to partner with technical colleges across the country to provide the foundation of their machinists’ program.

To help other schools and colleges take advantage of online learning, we are recording sessions with several Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructors. Their experience implementing and managing an elearning program can provide guidance and best practices to those schools just starting this journey. Today is the third in a five-part series and we are pleased to welcome Bret Holmes, Machinist Program Coordinator from Ogden Weber Technical College.


Best Practices for Using a Virtual Learning Classroom for High School and Adult Students

March 25, 2020

Schools and colleges across the nation are already in their second month of conducting remote classes. Online learning opportunities have become essential to students, at every level, to continue their education during the COVID-19 crisis. We are proud to offer our nation’s educators the tools and support they need to quickly implement virtual learning at technical high schools and colleges.

To help streamline this process, we are recording sessions with several Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructors. They offer unique insights and real-world scenarios of how they have successfully used elearning with their students. Today we are pleased to welcome Kevin Finan, machine tool technology instructor from Atlantic Technical College and Technical High School in Coconut Creek, Florida.


Insights from CTE Instructors: Creating Digital Learning Environments

March 25, 2020

In just the last month, our educational system has been completely transformed. Online education has become an urgent national necessity and we are proud to partner with our nation’s educators to quickly pivot to find virtual solutions for students in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

To help share best practices, we are recording sessions with several Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructors as they provide insights and real-world examples of how to successfully use elearning with their students. Today is the first in a four-part series and we are pleased to welcome Conrad Mercurius, Coordinator of Advanced Manufacturing Technology from Raritan Valley Community College.


Building a Multigenerational Manufacturing Workforce

November 8, 2019

The Multigenerational Workforce is happening NOW and manufacturers are scrambling to understand how to manage the influx of a new generation workforce that will merge with legacy workers in place.

Listen to Tooling U-SME’s new podcast, Managing the Multigenerational Workforce featuring Denise Ball, Workforce Development Specialist at Tooling U-SME, as she discusses the challenges and solutions for attracting, retaining and sustaining the workers in this new manufacturing environment.

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Tackling Employee Turnover

June 25, 2019

Manufacturers lose millions of dollars each year due to employee turnover. Jeannine Kunz, vice president at Tooling U-SME, talks with Chris Mahar, associate editor of Manufacturing Engineering, about Tooling U-SME’s recent “The True Cost of Turnover” report and the impact that employee turnover has on manufacturing productivity. In addition to talking about the impacts turnover has on manufacturing operations, Kunz shares ways manufacturers can retain employees and boost productivity.

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The Growing Skills Gap and How Manufacturers Can Close It

November 18, 2018

Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME, discusses the Industry Pulse: 2018 Manufacturing Workforce Report and the concern that manufacturers still aren’t taking the necessary steps to combat the skills gap.

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Think You Know What’s Causing the Skills Gap in Automotive? Think Again

September 19, 2017

Sharing findings from a survey of 300 automotive industry manufacturers, Jeannine Kunz, VP of Tooling U-SME, says the introduction of new technology is seen as the main contributor to the skills gap in manufacturing. “Essentially, technology is outpacing our people.” Yes, the pipeline is still an issue. Yes, baby boomers leaving the market is still an issue. But the swift current of new technology is negatively impacting productivity, innovation, quality and safety. Tooling U-SME works to help companies tackle all of the problems. “All too often, we see manufacturers not necessarily tying human capital strategy to their manufacturing strategy or their business strategy.” Human capital can be a competitive advantage. “All of us can buy the same equipment. And all of us can buy the same technologies. What we really can’t duplicate are the human beings. Each of us is very different. So it’s the ‘secret weapon’ of the people behind the operation that truly can create a competitive advantage,” Kunz says.

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Tooling U-SME Prepares to Unveil Additive Certification

April 19, 2017

Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME, details how awareness of AM's capabilities is clearly on the rise: Some big manufacturers are focusing on what AM means to their human capital, and AM is often being incorporated into existing roles. Kunz also discusses how Tooling U-SME can help customers increase their use of additive technologies while the world waits for

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How is Tooling U-SME Helping Develop the Manufacturing Workforce?

February 28, 2016

Jeannine Kunz, the director of Tooling U-SME, about how workforce development is changing in an area where manufacturers struggle to find workers. Learn how Tooling U-SME helps small, medium and large manufacturers prepare a plan to keep their current

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