June 8

Many challenges can arise during the design and development of a successful learning and development program. Fostering early consensus amongst decision-makers and securing alignment across the organization can be a challenge. Balancing training time with production requirements, while identifying and designating roles and responsibilities are just a few risk factors to a successful program. Join us as we discuss how to foster organizational alignment when building our workforce programs.


Matthew Hilgendorf
Matthew Hilgendorf, Vice President of Operations, Atkore, Inc.
Breonna Rogers
Breonna Rogers, Talent Development Specialist, Pella Corp.
Kurtis Webb
Kurtis Webb, Operations Manager, MES Plant, Pella Corp.

The challenge for successfully equipping our manufacturing employees with the necessary skills and competencies has never been greater. As our workforce becomes more diverse, and with multiple generations and learning behaviors, training organizations are pressed to develop impactful programming for reaching everyone. At our disposal, no shortage of modern learning technologies and resources. Join us as we share proven approaches for designing, building, and deploying successful training programs for our frontline workforce.


Jennifer Carter
Jennifer Carter, PHR, SHRM-CP, Human Resources Business Partner, Pyrotek, Inc.
Jeremy Garber
Jeremy Garber, Central Services Manager, Miba Bearings US LLC
Spencer Noel
Spencer Noel, Training and Development, AGC Automotive North America

As manufacturing is facing high turnover and an increased skills gap in today and tomorrow’s jobs, it is apparent that traditional training methods are not working. To mitigate a risk to business continuity and sustainability, a new focus on workforce development needs to be considered.

Mr. Hindman will discuss 5 modern-day strategies to combat the struggles manufacturers are facing in terms of acquiring, developing, and retaining their employees.

  1. Engage Early and Often
  2. Make Training Personal
  3. Build Cultural Ambassadors
  4. Adapt to Work/Life Challenges
  5. Make Training Fun Again

Mr. Hindman will detail out these strategies, along with real-world tactics, that can counter contemporary battles with poor employee engagement and retention. These measures may be new approaches for manufacturers, but they will benefit both existing workforce challenges and better prepare manufacturers in developing the worker of the future.


John Hindman
John Hindman, Director of Learning Services, Tooling U-SME

Join Tooling U-SME Senior Director, Chad Schron, as we provide a live demonstration of Tooling U-SME's new Virtual Labs, using virtual reality technology. Hear how Tooling U-SME's Virtual Learning Labs support a robust Learn-Practice-Perform training methodology.


Chad Schron
Chad Schron, Senior Director, Tooling U-SME

June 9

How we measure training program success involves much more than counting course completions or employee satisfaction surveys. Ultimately your company’s training investments need to improve operational performance and return a positive business impact to the organization. Join us as we discuss "how and why" our panelists were able to accomplish their objectives, and in the process share how specific program outcomes were identified, measured, and communicated to the necessary stakeholders across the organization.


Lawrence Hancock
Lawrence Hancock, Training & Development Manager, Midway Products Group, Inc.
Steve Heethuis
Steve Heethuis, Training Director, NN Mobile Solutions

Imagine a community where private and public sector partners work collaboratively… A community where government, educational institutions, manufacturers, parents and students, economic and workforce development agencies and foundations leverage their collective talents and resources to create a life cycle of programs that accelerate the development of this critical workforce. This is not wishful thinking. This is Pittsburgh.


Greg Surtman
Greg Surtman, Senior Workforce Education Strategist, Tooling U-SME
Michel Conklin
Michel Conklin, Executive Director, BotsIQ
Neil Ashbaugh
Neil Ashbaugh, President & CEO, New Century Careers
Scott Dietz
Scott Dietz, Director, Workforce Initiatives, Catalyst Connection
Stephen Leonard
Stephen Leonard, Operations & Program Manager, Digital Foundry at Penn State New Kensington

The manufacturing industry is facing a massive number of unfilled positions and the lack of skilled resources has become an obstacle for manufacturers seeking to implement new technologies and methodologies on the factory floor. Manufacturers are seeking people with the right skills for the advanced manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow and need ways to upskill their current staff for the complex manufacturing process of the future. This panel will be discussing the challenges and a number of workforce solutions that organizations are implementing to help close the gap.


Conrad Leiva
Conrad Leiva, Vice President of Ecosystem & Workforce Development, CESMII
Jeannine Kunz
Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME
Kurtis Webb
Kurtis Webb, Operations Manager, MES Plant, Pella Corp.
Petra Mitchell
Petra Mitchell, President & CEO, Catalyst Connection