Tooling U-SME Blog

Tooling U-SME's blog focuses on best practices, tools and tips for workforce training and development.

Implementing a comprehensive, consistent learning and development program can seem daunting. But it doesn’t need to be.

We hear from a lot of manufacturers who are at risk. They need training to move their organizations forward, reduce quality errors, meet customer demands, and grow — but they resist taking teams away from the day-to-day operations for this training because they don’t have enough people.
Recently I attended the 31st annual National Coalition of Advanced Technology Center (NCATC) conference, “Moving Industry 4.0 Forward: Models for Competency-Based Credentialing and Career Pathways.”
Tooling U-SME has been an advocate of Manufacturing Day since the program’s inception in 2012. Over the years, we have supported academic programs and provided high schools, community colleges and universities with curriculum to prepare the next-generation workforce for successful and fulfilling careers in manufacturing. We do this because we believe in the strength of the industrial sector and the resilience of its people.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), apprenticeships show 56 percent growth since 2013. In 2018, nationwide, there were over 585,000 apprentices. This is a proven strategy for developing a workforce that is essential for the prosperity of the nation.

Manufacturing has long been an advocate of apprenticeship programs.

The results are clear:
The start of a new school year alerts educators to the numbers of students that have enrolled at their community or technical college across the country.

Declining enrollment is always a consideration. Nearly 60 percent of community college presidents reported that enrollment is down at their institutions over the last few years, ...
Recently Amazon announced a plan to invest over $700 million to upskill 100,000 U.S. employees by 2025. That’s about $7,000 per worker.

Especially with a tight labor market, this is a smart investment.