Tooling U-SME Blog

Last week, women across the world were celebrated on International Women's Day, part of Women's History Month. This month, our schools, workplaces, and communities recognize and celebrate the achievements made by American women.

Advanced Manufacturing Media recently explored the skills gap, including how it is impacted by quickly advancing technology.

For years, we have encouraged manufacturers — and provided tools for them — to take steps to stem the current and future loss of skilled workers. The reasons are familiar: experienced baby boomers are retiring, jobs are returning to the U.S., and the talent pipeline is not as robust as it once was.
CTE Month ends today, and we couldn’t let February close without acknowledging the significant contributions of Career and Technical Education programs in high schools across the country. From simulated workplaces to industry partnerships, CTE programs focused on manufacturing are an invaluable resource for local communities. These programs provide students with excellent technical and career-ready training to prepare them for jobs with advanced manufacturing companies that so greatly need a fresh pipeline of highly skilled workers.
A top condition of a manufacturer’s competitiveness is access to a talented workforce. Yet we are in challenging times: U.S. Labor Department data indicates that as of June 2017, some 419,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled.

But, hey! The millennial generation is made up of 92 million people! That’s the answer!
Last week, we announced Tooling U-SME’s involvement in the development and registration of the nation’s first Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeship – a new national learning program created for the engineering discipline. Tooling U-SME collaborated with the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB) and the Aero-Flex team of employers and colleges to build the first registered apprenticeship, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Office (USDOL).
Elizabeth Pluskwik, PhD, leads the Engineering Economics, Entrepreneurial and Lean competencies at Iron Range Engineering, a project-based engineering education program at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

In 2009, northern Minnesota was experiencing a “brain drain,” with engineering students learning and leaving. We wanted them to learn and stay!