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SME and Tooling U-SME Develop Apprentice Training Partnerships to Close Manufacturing Skills Gap

TU-SME.logoManufacturers are struggling to find the qualified and skilled applicants necessary to meet their needs – a difficulty identified by 89 percent of the industry.

And in the United States, manufacturing adds nearly $2 to the economy for every dollar spent, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector, further highlighting the importance to our economy of solving this skills gap problem.

Tooling-u-apprenticeSME, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, along with their Tooling U-SME division, has been leading the way with major manufacturers to provide the training and resources necessary for a successful and skilled manufacturing workforce. In fact, more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 manufacturers turn to Tooling U-SME to keep their workforce up to date.

One critical method for strengthening our workforce is through tried and true apprenticeships – albeit with a 21st century spin. By replacing time-based programs with those focused on competencies, employers are able to use apprenticeships to boost retention, reduce recruiting costs and improve productivity.

Img5Apprenticeships offer employers the flexibility to design programs specific to their needs while filling job openings immediately. In building out these earn as you learn models, industry is able to partner with educators, the government, unions, workforce agencies and community-based organizations to ensure maximum success.

These partnerships can also extend beyond traditional apprenticeships to help encourage more young people to enter manufacturing, a position shared by the current administration. Through the SME Education Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) program, industry partners with local school districts to build out manufacturing programs at high schools and investing in the next generation of manufacturing professionals.  Click link to see how companies can get involved.

At SME and Tooling U-SME, they’ve been developing solutions including online and instructor led training, industry accepted accreditation and apprenticeship models that enable manufacturers and workers to achieve their full potential.  Check out the programs offered by Tooling U-SME to help build the skills of your staff.

Source: Jeff Krause, Executive Director and CEO at SME, Tooling U-SME LinkedIn page. Photo Credits: Tooling-U


Tribute, Inc. is a provider of business management software for fluid power, fluid handling and process control distributors who provide design and fabrication services. Click for more information about TrulinX, our Windows-based software designed specifically for sophisticated rubber product lot control and complex fabrication projects.

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Tribute, Inc. is a provider of ERP business management software for distributors and system integrators in the fluid power, hose, motion control, automation, fluid handling & pump industry who provide value-added services.