Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wisconsin Teacher Awarded for Innovative Apprenticeship Program

For many years, students at Kaukauna High School (KHS) have gotten real-world job experience through its well-respected Youth Apprenticeship and Co-op jobs programs led by Nels Lawrence. Now, they also receive additional training utilizing ToolingU-SME’s online learning curriculum to enhance their classroom experience.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Expanding Partnerships to Overcome Skill Shortage

Expanding partnerships within the manufacturing industry is just one crucial element to overcome the skill deficit according to an article in Manufacturing Business Technology. The article highlights Tooling U as a company that partners with job shops, corporations, academia and government via its industry-driven coursework offering more than 400 online classes to train technicians such as machinist, welders, assemblers, inspectors and more.

Even with the manufacturing industry on the upswing, "manufacturers are leaving jobs open because they can't find the people with the right talent. According to a recent Deloitte report, as many as 600,000 jobs remain unfilled because of a skills gap," the article states.

Organizations and academia turn to Tooling U because, in addition to its ease of use, and reporting tools – the content maps to technician certification programs which show learners competence and knowledge.

Other areas listed as crucial elements to overcome skill deficit were: Reintroducing corporate in-house training programs and getting young people interested in manufacturing.

Tooling U has trained more than 100,000 individuals via its robust Learning Management System (LMS) with multimedia, reporting tools to track progress, and the ability to custom-tailor the content. Tooling U is the manufacturing learning source.

Learn more about how Tooling U can partner with your organization to train your workforce.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Charter for Revitalizing American Manufacturing

While the U.S. maps its strategy for placing manufacturing at the forefront of job creation and development, companies like Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and Tooling U are working with business, labor, academia, think tanks and other non-profits to create proposals to move manufacturing forward according to an article in MANUFACTURING AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS.

SME and seventeen other organizations including AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, and Economic Strategy Institute are working to create a core set of values that promote the importance of manufacturing; encourage balanced trade; support the few government programs aimed at improving the health of small- and medium-sized manufacturers; adopt a corporate tax policy with incentives for investment in productive capacity and innovation; promote workforce training; and create guidelines for public procurement of American-made goods.

The 18-body member signed a charter called “Charter for Revitalizing American Manufacturing” and will address why the United Sates has lost more manufacturing capacity over the past decade than any other country. According to economists from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has been as high as 32-percent.

Mark Tomlinson, CEO of the Society of Mfg. Engineers and Tooling U will work with the governing body with the intention to create areas of agreement to make progress and provide solutions for the workforce pain that is occurring in manufacturing organizations in the United States.

Tooling U can partner with your organization and offer solutions for your manufacturing workforce concerns.  We have serviced a number of industries including automotive, aerospace, defense, energy, and medical device manufacturers.  

Have questions? Please contact us:


Monday, May 14, 2012

Community Colleges Play a Vital Role Filling the Pipeline

President Obama announced in June of 2011 the goal to credential 500,000 community college students with skills certifications.  The Manufacturing Institute’s NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System was cited as a way to reach the needs of manufacturers and their hiring needs nationwide.

The NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System is a series of stackable credentials for advanced manufacturing.  These nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials not only validate an individual’s knowledge, but also the relevant skills needed to be productive and successful in entry-level positions in manufacturing.

Community Colleges play a vital role in this training to help fill the pipeline with ready, qualified workers.

With curriculum to prepare students for NIMS, MSSC, AWS and SME certification, SME/ is a valuable partner to align our programs to the NAM certification system.

For any test, preparation is key. classes partner with Community Colleges to deliver a blended learning solution to help increase a students’ knowledge and can help prepare them for certification.   While classes cannot guarantee success, the focused content and online tools can get students’ get started in the right direction. has mapped its online training classes to the following nationally recognized training certifications: 

1)    National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Standards. These standards provide individuals in the machining and metal-forming industries with a way to validate their knowledge and skills in the trade. To become certified in a specific NIMS standard, individuals must meet performance requirements and pass a series of multiple-choice tests.

2)     Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) standards. These standards stem from an industry-led certification program designed to prepare people with the core knowledge needed for entry-level production employment.
To become an MSSC certified production technician, individuals must successfully pass four tests focused on Safety, Quality Practices and Measurement, Manufacturing Processes and Production, and Maintenance Awareness. 

3)     American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE Level 1 standard. This standard is designed to prepare people with the core knowledge and skills required for an entry-level position they can use to start a career in welding.
The core of the AWS SENSE Level 1 standard is the ability to create actual weld samples that pass inspection. However, online training is also an ideal supplement for the knowledge-based component of the certification.

4)    SME Manufacturing Technologist (CMfg T) This certification primarily benefits new manufacturing engineers and experienced manufacturers without other credentials. Pursuing a CMfgT certification requires a minimum of 4 years combined manufacturing-related education and/or work experience.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

U.S. Manufacturing Labor Shortage: Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment

The future of American manufacturing looks good. On March 5, 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected output growth for manufacturing for the decade 2010–2020 to be $1.36 trillion. U.S. manufacturers will need more and more skilled, specialized workers to fulfill this promise.

On March 9, the BLS reported that manufacturing employment rose by 31,000 in February 2012. The American manufacturing sector is being held back only by the critical shortage of skilled labor:
In an October 2011 survey of American manufacturers conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP, respondents reported that 5% of their jobs remained unfilled simply because they could not find workers with the right skills.

That 5% vacancy rate meant that an astounding 600,000 jobs were left unfilled during a period when national unemployment was above 9%.
—Thomas A. Hemphill and Mark J. Perry, "U.S. Manufacturing and the Skills Crisis", The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/2012
Today's skilled labor shortage is driving manufacturers to partner with educational institutions, industry organizations, and government agencies to train tomorrow's workforce.
Mark Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, sees the skilled worker shortage as an iceberg looming on an uneasy sea. "We're just approaching it; we haven't hit it yet but we know it's there," he says. "People are starting to see it."
—Michele Nash-Hoff, "What's Being Done to Address the Lack of Skilled Workers?", The Huffington Post, 10/11/2011
A critical shortage of skilled workers threatens the future of U.S. manufacturing. If we do not address this crisis now, it will accelerate.

Tooling U addresses this issue by offering the Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment program to help manufacturers evaluate their capabilities. This program includes a series of questions regarding knowledge retention, future skill requirements, and employee development programs. The readiness assessment profile addresses key areas that organizations should develop to promote an empowered and efficient organization over the next decade.

Jeannine Kunz, Director of Professional Development for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, unveiled the Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment at the Interactive Manufacturing Experience (imX) event in September 2011:

Tooling U offers more than 400 classes for industries such as aerospace, automotive and transportation, heavy equipment and machinery, machining and tooling, and medical parts manufacturing, as well as oil, gas and energy. Our training packages provide essential knowledge for the machining, assembly, forming/fabricating, welding, and maintenance trades.

To take the Workforce 2021 Readiness Assessment:

To take a tour of Tooling U’s products and services:

Friday, February 24, 2012

U.S. Department of Education visits Carroll County Career and Technology Center

Dr. Dann-Messier talks with students
while they complete online learning modules
During a series of visits to schools throughout the country, a team from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) visited the Carroll County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC) in Westminster, Maryland on February 9.

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for the OVAE, and her team went to see the Manufacturing & Machine Technology (MMT) program, run by Tim Blizzard (Instructor, CCCTC).

The site visit included a panel discussion with industry leaders and educators, a tour of the machine shop, and a luncheon with a panel of students and parents. The visit’s objective was to determine how the CCCTC program was affecting the area’s industries by providing students who were well prepared for the workforce, and how the program was impacting students. In the last year, the CCCTC program received accreditation from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

The industry panel and representatives for
local and national departments of education
received a tour of the MMT shop conducted
by several students.

The overall response from the industry panel was that Bill Eckles (Principal, CCCTC), Marjorie Lohnes (Supervisor of Career & Technology Education, CCCTC), and Mr. Blizzard understood the demands of industry in their area and invested a great deal to update the machine shop and ensure the program was attractive to both students and parents.

Toni Neary, Educational Specialist with Tooling U’s Government & Education Group, was invited to attend the meeting and said, "It is always great to get out in the field and meet the students using our program. We heard stories of how Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs and instructors have truly changed the lives of students, building confidence and imparting lifelong skills. To know we are a piece of that puzzle is really powerful."

Mr. Blizzard at CCCTC has been using Tooling U as part of a blended learning delivery for 4 years and has trained more than 60 students in that time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tooling U Announces 12 Award-Winning Programs in Education

Tooling U partners with schools across the country to impact training for the next generation of skilled manufacturers. Tooling U’s Platinum Education Centers (TUPECs) are programs that exemplify dedication and resources to training in the manufacturing community. The programs were selected based on: adoption of Tooling U’s online training program, strong utilization rates of online training in a blended-learning format, and ongoing successful referrals in the education community.

The 12 programs that are now recognized as TUPECs are:

Tooling U created TUPEC status to recognize the strong partnerships established with its educational customers. According to Tooling U’s Toni Neary, Business Development-Education Specialist, “[Our education customers] definitely are true partners. We are very fortunate to work with these programs because they are producing the next generation of skilled manufacturers.”

The partnerships between Tooling U and its customers depend on a blended-learning solution, which combines online training with hands-on instruction and lab work. Adds Neary, “Ultimately, technical training needs the combination of knowledge and skills. Partnered with our TUPECs, Tooling U delivers a portion of the knowledge online while the state-of-the-art labs and classrooms deliver the needed skills through hands-on learning.”

Tooling U anticipates that the 12 winners of the TUPEC award will be followed by additions each quarter, depending on how many new schools meet the criteria.