Monday, October 19, 2009

Certificates of Completion Upgrade

The Certificates of Completion students earn for completing ToolingU classes or competency programs for their organizations have been upgraded.


The certificate system has been upgraded to create PDF files. The use of PDF files eliminates several issues regarding the different browser standards and the printing of background images. However, using PDF files does require the use of Adobe PDF Reader.


Administrators are able to select any of the certificate designs to issue a Certificates of Completion to their students.

Students are able to select any of the certificate designs to use for their Certificates of Completion. Students who are a part of a corporate or educational program will be able to print certificates based on their organization’s setup, following these criteria:

1. If an organization uses a custom certificate, a student will only be allowed to print certificates using that custom design.

2. If an organization has opted to display their logo on the certificate, a student will only be able to select one of the four certificate designs created specifically to show an additional logo.

3. In all other situations a student will be allowed to select their preference (provided their administrator has granted them permission to print certificates of completion).

Tom Torres
Web Developer

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Robotics and Rigging Training

This month, TOOLINGU.COM is releasing two new departments to enhance our already robust catalog of manufacturing classes. Our company has created the robotics and rigging departments to offer you even more manufacturing-specific training opportunities.

The new Robotics department offers a comprehensive overview of modern industrial robotics, including installation, maintenance, the basics of programming, and more. The various components of robots are explored in-depth, including end effectors, drives, and vision systems. These classes add to the large curriculum for maintenance professionals already available on our site.

Our Rigging department is focused on some more "back-to-basics" classes that can be used with new employees at any company that does heavy lifting. This new department focuses on the proper attachment and use of cable, chains, slings, and hoists, as well as other essential topics such as proper load calculations and rigging safety.

Intro to Robotics 110
Robot Safety 115
Robot Components 120
End Effectors 125
Applications for Robots 130
Robot Axes 140
Robot Sensors 150
Robot Troubleshooting 160
Robot Maintenance 170
Concepts of Robot Programming 210
Robotic Drives, Hardware, and Components 220
Robot Installations 230
Robotic Control Systems 240
Vision Systems 250

Rigging and Installation:
Intro to Machine Rigging 110
Rigging Equipment 120
Lifting and Moving Equipment 130
Rigging Inspection and Safety 210
Rigging Mechanics 220

Greg Herlevi
Director of Content

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What do Training Regulations Mean for Your Business?

Productivity mandates, reductions in workforces and cross-training initiatives often create unintended consequences. Recently, a plant manager told me he couldn’t afford to lose production time for training and could not afford to pay overtime. Another told me that paying his people to train when others at the plant were getting laid off would send the wrong message. In both cases, I recommended they offer a voluntary training program “off the clock” – taken on the employees’ own time.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been striking fear in the hearts of managers for 71 years, thanks to some hefty fines and legal judgments levied upon corporate wrongdoers. It has also spawned a number of state laws, union work rules and, unfortunately, several common misconceptions. Here’s the good news:

Attendance at training or educational programs normally is not considered working time and therefore does not have to be compensated if:

  • Training is outside the employee’s regular work hours

  • Participation is voluntary

  • The employee does no productive work while training, and

  • The program is not directly related to the employee’s job. If an employee on his own initiative attends an educational program, the time is not considered hours worked even if the program is related to the job.

If you would like to read the exact wording in the Dept. of Labor documents without wading through the whole book, see below. Remember that only a small portion of the FLSA, which established a minimum wage and regulated important issues such as child labor and unpaid overtime, deals with training issues.

You may, however, live in a state with stricter regulations. To the best of my knowledge, all states allow training as long as it is voluntary and does not constitute productive work. But I’m no lawyer and you’ll sleep better if you ask one to verify the standards in your location.

If you would like to become more versed in the intricacies of the FLSA as it relates to training, I recommend an online class offered by a distance-learning colleague: The Human Equation.

What about the union?
ToolingU was recently written into a collective bargaining agreement with an automotive manufacturer where union leaders embraced the voluntary initiative to learn new skills on their own time. Management responded by providing a wage incentive plan tied to the successful completion of classes and arranged into three levels of accomplishment.

Another customer has a strict policy of paying employees for training time. However, the company negotiated a union concession to have training hours paid in “straight time” rather than “time-and-a-half,” even though the training time is performed in addition to the work week’s 40 hours.

There’s a growing recognition on the part of both labor and management that some of the decades-old work rules do not necessarily apply to the modern manufacturing environment. Communications and openness to new ideas are benefitting all concerned to make these companies more competitive.

Senior Client Executive



§ 785.29 Training directly related to employee’s job

…Where a training course is instituted for the bona fide purpose of preparing for advancement through upgrading the employee to a higher skill, and is not intended to make the employee more efficient in his present job, the training is not considered directly related to the employee’s job even though the course incidentally improves his skill in doing his regular work..”

§ 785.30 Independent training.

Of course, if an employee on his own initiative attends an independent school, college or independent trade school after hours, the time is not hours worked for his employer even if the courses are related to his job.

§ 785.31 Special situations.

There are some special situations where the time spent in attending lectures, training sessions and courses of instruction is not regarded as hours worked. For example, an employer may establish for the benefit of his employees a program of instruction which corresponds to courses offered by independent bona fide institutions of learning. Voluntary attendance by an employee at such courses outside of working hours would not be hours worked even if they are directly related to his job, or paid for by the employer.

§ 785.32 Apprenticeship training.

As an enforcement policy, time spent in an organized program of related, supplemental instruction by employees working under bona fide apprenticeship programs may be excluded from working time if the following criteria are met:
(a) The apprentice is employed under a written apprenticeship agreement or program which substantially meets the fundamental standards of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the U.S. Department of Labor; and
(b) Such time does not involve productive work or performance of the apprentice’s regular duties. If the above criteria are met the time spent in such related supplemental training shall not be counted as hours worked unless the written agreement specifically provides that it is hours worked. The mere payment or agreement to pay for time spent in related instruction does not constitute an agreement that such time is hours worked.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Other SME

Many of you are familiar with SME, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. I’d like to talk about the other SME, the Subject Matter Expert. As a member of the content team at ToolingU, I have met many Subject Matter Experts. An SME is a vital component of our training development process. Largely behind-the-scenes, SMEs validate the content of our products by testing its accuracy and relevance. From my experience, all the great SMEs possess four essential qualities: Knowledge, Experience, Accessibility, and Enthusiasm.

As the name implies, an SME is an expert in a subject. SMEs know the "theory" (from the Greek theoria, which means to view something as a witness) of our topics, and ensure our research is accurate and reflects the most up-to-date advances in a particular field.

An SME is an experienced practitioner of knowledge, putting knowledge to work in a practical manner. SMEs "practice" (from the Greek praxis, which means to enact theory) what they know, and have the ability to make our material relevant to our students. Theory and practice, or knowledge and experience, are inextricably linked.

Knowledge and experience are nothing without accessibility. An SME is accessible, which in today's world is achieved in many ways: via phone, conference call, email, and on-site visits. Being able to readily tap into an SME's knowledge and experience is invaluable.

Lastly, and incidentally my favorite part of SME interaction, SMEs enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience in order to help others and to improve the workforce of tomorrow. Enthusiasm is infectious. Every SME I know loves sharing their knowledge and experience, and is committed to the advancement and long-term success of manufacturing.

The SME contribution to our training materials is passed to our students, and that contribution is likely to stay with the student long after they log off their accounts, into the future of success in the field.

Senior Content Developer

Thursday, August 6, 2009 Website Update has been updated with new features to improve user experience and simplify common user tasks.


For Administrators:

  • Student Passwords – can now be reset by Administrators.

  • Subscriptions – a new feature has been added to allow Administrators to lookup Subscription numbers to view details and determine if the number is a valid Subscription.

  • Student Names – in the case of misspelled student names, an easy method has been created to allow Administrators to request a correction. Once set, a student name cannot be changed. However, in the situation of a misspelling a Tooling U Customer Service representative can correct the name.

  • Student Groups – a new method has been added to provide Administrators with an easy and flexible method to view and print the students that have been assigned to a group or a range of selected groups.

  • Bulk Approvals/Disapprovals for Competencies – Administrators can now select competencies as being approved or disapproved in a single click. Prior to this change an administrator was forced to approve or disapprove each request one at a time.

  • Student Templates – can now be applied to all students within a selected group.

  • Student Permission – a new permission has been added to give the Administrator the option of requiring only that a Final Exam be completed before marking a class as being complete.

  • Administrator Accounts – Administrators can now update their own account information without being required to have permissions to manage other Administrator accounts.

  • Manage Administrator Accounts – a new feature has been added which allows multiple administrators to be added to a single Administrator Role. Prior to this change, it was only possible to apply an Administrator Role by opening each Administrator account and making the change.

  • Competency Manager – offline tasks can now be applied to a class, creating a direct relationship between an offline task and a class. This shows a student which offline tasks they should be completing in conjunction with a specific class.

  • Class Goals – can now be configured to reset on a recurring role. For example an organization may require each of their students to complete Fire Safety and Prevention 101 by July 1st every year.

If you have any questions or need assistance using any of the new features please contact support at

Web Developer

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another Successful Sales Meeting!

The 7th Annual Tooling U golf outing took place on Friday, July 24th at Big Met Golf Course in Ohio's Rocky River Reservation. The culmination of our annual sales meeting, the golf outing is our chance to catch up and interact with team members we may not necessarily see on a regular basis. The day and night were exceptional, even if the golf skills were not.

The gorgeous-weather day began with lunch at the award-winning Rocky River Brewing Company. Granted that waiting on a large party is not easy, the food and service at RRBC were outstanding. The foursomes then assembled at the golf course for a series of tee times beginning at 1:30 PM. Despite a shortage of carts (Big Met is, after all, the busiest course in Ohio…allegedly) the Tooling U golfers managed to tee off and subsequently grind the pace of play to a near-halt. Special thanks to the starter at Big Met for his patience, cordiality, and lightness of mood.

Shooting a scorching 1-over-par, Wes Howard, Dan Pruitt, and Tom Torres managed the best score of the day. The winning team had the right combination of power drives and precise approach shots, which gave the biggest competitive advantage.

The team with the lowest number of putts consisted of Michelle Robinson, Hamid Farzad, Carlos Sarmiento, and Chad Schron. Last and certainly least, Cindy May, James Vickers, Chris Pinner, and Gretchen Schultz managed to shoot an amazing 8-over-par in this scramble. That is no easy feat. Nice job guys!

After a long day on the links, the group headed to the home of James Vickers for dinner and to claim their prizes. Individual prizes went to Tony Keating (longest putt), James Vickers (longest drive), and Tim Cunningham (closest to the pin). Bryan Knaack, Chris Petty, Carlos Sarmiento, and Aleah Kapusi took away some pretty nifty door prizes.

Once again the golf outing proved to be a great way to foster camaraderie here at Tooling U. I would like to thank everyone for their participation and enthusiasm. Lastly, special thanks to Greg Herlevi for his efforts in organizing the event.

Ben Johnson
Senior Content Developer

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dislocated Workers & ToolingU

The Government and Education team has been working with several dislocated worker programs throughout the country. The goal of these programs is to provide workers whose companies have either closed or laid them off with the skills they need to obtain new jobs. In the process, some of these workers have even gained valuable computer skills. Check out this article to learn more about one of these programs.

Director of Business Development

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Junk In, Junk Out

One of my jobs at Tooling U is to clean up the database. We are currently using Salesforce to organize all of our leads and contacts. CRM software plays an important role in our Client Executives’ everyday tasks, and as part of the marketing department it has been useful for planning our overall marketing strategy and campaigns.

There are many reasons why it is important to keep your CRM clean and up to date. As data is entered, it is not always double checked against existing records. Therefore, duplicate accounts need to be merged or deleted. Records also need to be updated frequently, as addresses may change and people frequently change jobs.

The data housed within the CRM helps sales and marketing to analyze data and prospect more effectively. There is no real way to measure marketing effectiveness, but if the lead source is correct for each record, we can determine where our customers are finding out about Tooling U. This helps us determine if we are advertising in the right magazines and websites and can also improve our SEO (search engine optimization) on sites like Google and Yahoo.

This year, we did a lot of research to determine the characteristics of our typical customer in order to prospect more effectively. This process involved quite a bit of database cleaning. Continuously updating and taking the time to put in the correct information can make running a report to find this information simple, instead of requiring months of filtering information.

For marketing purposes, another reason to keep your database clean is to make your direct mailing and campaigns much easier. It is time consuming to ensure every contact’s name and information is correct. When putting together direct mail campaigns, I have noticed names on labels that look like this:
Vincent Shay – Gone
Or like this:
Sean (scene) O’Malley
These are great examples of how records can be up to date and yet still clutter up a database. Vincent’s last name is not Shay-Gone. Vincent Shay happens to have left his company, hence, “gone.” And as for Sean, it is important that our staff does not mispronounce his name, but receiving a piece of mail with “Scene” is also a little offensive. It is important that all employees are writing this type of information in the notes or archiving old employees. The most important lesson? Since you can never guarantee correct names, always double check your address labels before you mail them.

For a database to stay continuously updated, it has to be an overall company goal. Training, making crucial fields required, incentives, and communicating the importance of why your database needs to stay updated can be helpful in accomplishing this goal.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Informal Learning

We recently returned from the ASTD in Washington DC. One of the many popular topics with the presenters and exhibitors was around the idea of Informal Learning. The statistic used was “70 Percent of learning within an organization is informal or social learning.”

I would tend to agree that this statistic would be accurate in manufacturing today. Whether it is time spent debugging a CNC program, discussing a weld, deciding on the best way to fix a machine or discussing an employee issue, all of these events are training events.

If 70 Percent of all training occurring is informal, how do you capture this training? Track the training? Budget for this training? Measure the training? With all of the new and emerging social media like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, how do you keep up with it?

Since social media like this is new to all industries, I doubt that any industry—particularly the manufacturing industry—has an answer as to how to capture informal training and learning that occurs in the workplace. But, it certainly has gotten -ideas flowing at ToolingU. Stay tuned for some exciting new products, sites, and features being added for students, administrators and manufacturing community to address the Informal Learning occurring in manufacturing today.

VP Operations

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On the Road Again: Skills USA National Leadership & Skills Conference

Tooling U’s Cindy Bernosky and Amy Solis attended the Skills USA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Kansas City June 21-June 26th. Students that have won their regional contests advance to the state competitions and students that win at the state level advance to the National contests. The National Leadership & Skills Conference showcases contests in 91 different disciplines ranging from Advanced Manufacturing to Cosmetology. The students compete with a written test, hands-on skills, and then a leadership competition. Advanced manufacturing was well represented with competitions including CNC Milling, CNC Turning, Precision Machining, Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation and Welding.

“There is sometimes a negative perception of career and technical education. If those people could have seen the talent, commitment and professionalism of these students, they would be blown away. These students are training for highly skilled occupations that are vital for the future of the American economy,” said Rich Stape of Mahoning Valley Career & Technology Center. Rich is not only active in the Skills USA program at a regional, state, and national level, but is also a longtime Tooling U customer.

We would like to send our congratulations to all of the students that competed at the national level, but especially to student Chris Harkless from Miami Valley Career & Technology Center for his silver medal in the Precision Machining Technology competition.

Toni Neary
Government & Education

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wedding Bells!

Wedding bells rang on Friday, July 3rd as Cindy Bernosky of the Government and Education team married her handsome groom James May. On behalf of the entire ToolingU team, I would like to send out a big CONGRATULATIONS to Cindy & Jamie as they start their new life together. The bride was stunning in a beautiful beaded gown and the groom looked dashing in his tuxedo. The couple celebrated and danced into the night with friends and family from throughout the U.S. right here in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio.

Jeremy Sobeck, of the ToolingU Content team, was the best man for the festivities and did not disappoint with his sentimental, yet humorous toast. Stunning bride, handsome groom, and witty best man were not to be outdone by the four-tier chocolate on chocolate wedding cake covered with chocolate-covered strawberries. It was not only a fantastic site, but the cause for not one, but two pieces of cake for me. The newlyweds will be honeymooning in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

We would like to congratulate Mr. & Mrs. May and wish them a lifetime of happiness!

Government & Education

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Ongoing Search for a Good Restaurant: Mexico

Last week, I made my first trip to Monterrey, Mexico, and I spent the week with Carlos Sarmiento, our Client Executive for this territory. This trip was a real eye opener for me in many ways, both for business and social understanding.

I never realized the number of large U.S. manufacturing operations that are located in Monterrey. Carlos will have his hands full in this region but so far he is doing a fantastic job getting us in front of some of the premier manufacturing companies. During our time in Monterrey, we met with John Deere, Lennox, Nemak, GE Energy, and MD Helicopter, just to name a few. I was worried about the language barrier, since as Carlos will tell you, my Spanish is not the best. Luckily, all but one meeting was conducted in English. For the one exception, let me tell you, I had no clue what was being said. Carlos afterwards did tell me that the meeting went well, but for all I know, they could have been discussing sports or the weather.

After the long days of visiting companies and knocking on many doors, Carlos was excited to show me what Mexico was all about. I have to say this was the first time I was not the one deciding where we were going to eat that night. I was leaving this up to the resident expert of Mexican culture and food. During our first night, Carlos took me to a fancy restaurant named San Carlos, where their specialty was lamb. Of course, the menu was in Spanish, so Carlos had to translate and I decided to order the rack of lamb. I was not expecting what came out. There was just the meat on a plate. This was followed by tortilla shells along with a bowl of homemade salsa. The meal was fantastic and was the first of many great restaurants where everything was served with tortilla shells and eaten with your hands. One of my favorites was a busy “fast food” place named El Pollo Loco, or the Crazy Chicken. Here again they just provided a whole chicken on a plate and brought out tortilla shells with a few types of salsas. No forks… just eat with your hands. Fantastic.

In Monterrey, MX I learned that both the training and food is “hands-on”. I truly feel that our online training will complement the on-the-job training as it does here in the states.

James Vickers
Director Of Sales

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Staffing Update

Tooling U is glad to welcome Amy Solis to the team. Amy joins the Government and Education Group to aid them in the research and prospecting of new government programs, technical schools, and colleges. Amy is currently training for a triathlon, so when you get a second, wish her luck!

Bryan Knaack
Director of Business Development

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Updated Reporting Capabilities

One of the most powerful tools at a Tooling U Administrator's disposal is the Group Report. Group Reports provide Administrators with the ability to track student usage, progress, and performance within Tooling U; and for the Site Administrator there exist additional reports to review usage and progress for the entire organization.

Current Tooling U Administrators enjoy several “canned” reports (reports available to all Administrators) and the ability to create custom reports to meet their specific needs. Following the launch of the sixth version of Tooling U, one of the areas the Application Development team monitored and reviewed was the Group Reports section and identified several areas of improvement, which led to the development of several enhancements:

  • The Amount of Data – Large amounts of data can be accumulated throughout years of use and several reports were generated using an organization’s entire history resulting in extremely large sets of data. To prevent this, many reports now feature several search parameters to allow the Administrator to narrow the amount of data returned in the report.

  • Data Filtering – Custom reports are great when an Administrator has a specific report format they need to run on a regular basis; but they can become a bother when one of the canned reports retrieves the data the Administrator wants but requires the Administrator to page through too many results. To address this issue column filters have been added to almost all of the reports, allowing the Administrator to search for a subset of the results based on the column being filtered. For example, in the Comprehensive Report an Administrator can enter in “Smith” (last name) and modify the results to only display students with “Smith” in their last name. One filter per column can be used, allowing for a flexible and powerful method of filtering and sorting data.

  • Data Sorting – Launched with the release of version six of Tooling U, many Administrators may not be aware the column titles (when applicable) allow the Administrator to sort the entire report by the data in the selected column. A single click sorts the data in an ascending order (a, b, c, d … etc.), a second click sorts the data in a descending order (z, y, x, w … etc.), while a third click will reset the report to its default display.

  • Exporting Data – Many of the reports provide the capability the export their results directly to an Excel file. All of these Excel exports feature some enhanced features which went live with the release of Tooling U Version 6. However, after monitoring exceptionally large data exports it was discovered that the file size grew exponentially in size, creating difficulties downloading the report. Eventually, it would be possible to reach the limit of what Excel could handle. To compensate for this, all reports to Excel have now been capped to a specific level, which once reached will then switch the export format to CSV (a flat text file) reducing the size of the file while allowing more data to be exported.
While they are currently in the testing phase, these Group Reports enhancements will launch at the end of June.

If you are a current Tooling U Administrator and have some ideas of your own regarding the Group Reports feature please visit the Tooling U Idea Exchange at to share your idea’s with us and help us improve your Tooling U experience.

Web Developer

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kick Down the Door!

Cindy Bernosky & Gretchen Schultz of the Government & Education Group here at Tooling U headed to Minnesota earlier this month to participate in the “Kick Down the Door: Building Bridges to Connection” conference organized by the MPMA (Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association).

The conference, held April 29th through May 1st, provided a forum to understand the needs & concerns of everyone involved in the manufacturing industry. Cindy said the meeting was really productive, stating that “the group just wants what is best for the industry overall. It was great to have secondary and post-secondary educators with industry in the same room.”

The overall goal of the conference was to find ways to improve technical education throughout the state of Minnesota. Some of those improvements include getting educators and industry on the same page, and understanding the needs of students, employers and instructors. The conference included break-out sessions to discuss these needs, and what should happen as the manufacturing industry moves into the future.

Rumor has it the casino night of the conference was also quite a good time. Reportedly, Cindy was the highest bidder for a bottle of wine, but we haven’t seen the bottle around the office, so we don’t know where it ended up.

Government & Education Specialist
Photo Courtesy The Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Look Back

Every so often at Tooling U, we work on a project that causes us to look back at where we have been. The recent release of our new website in March spurred a flurry of conversation about how we have grown since we started in 2000. Our newest design incorporates our modern approach to training in an easy-to-use site. However, just a glance at each of our homepages reveals how many changes we made to get here.








As you can see, it has been a long road to get to where we are. We think each change has been an improvement not just in how we look but in how we offer the best online training available.

Chad Schron
VP Operations

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Expanding the Team

Tooling U is proud to announce that we have added two members to our team.

Jim Kasperik has been hired as Director of Services. Jim will help Tooling U customers create and implement training programs within their facilities.

In addition, Tony Keating is the new Client Executive in the Northeast area of the United States. Tony will be working with clients in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Director of Sales

Monday, March 30, 2009

The New Face of Manufacturing

Times are tough in manufacturing. Anyone even casually following the news lately knows a lot of companies are struggling. For companies in some of the hardest hit fields like the auto industry, business is drying up. But if there’s one thing I’ve seen, it’s that a good company will always pull through. Manufacturing companies rely on innovation to get through tough times, and now is no different.

A lot of smaller, contract-based manufacturing companies have found that diversifying the industries they work with is key to getting by and even possibly growing. To help them out, Tooling U recently sponsored Industry & Innovation: The New Face of Manufacturing to discuss how to do this effectively. This symposium in Cleveland, OH focused on moving into the energy, medical and aerospace industries. This conference was also a great opportunity for Tooling U to meet with manufacturers looking to continuously improve their businesses. TU’s Chad Schron, James Vickers, and I went to the event to meet with the wide variety of companies that are dealing with the challenges of diversifying.

Jack Schron, CEO of both Jergens Inc. and Tooling U, came to speak in two different sessions on March 17th regarding the importance of training a workforce to become a more flexible company. These “early bird” sessions drew nearly 200 people to hear Jack discuss the pros and cons of different training. Jack explained that the best option with training programs is a blended approach. Using theory-based training to back up hands-on practice helps people learn more quickly, and retain that knowledge on the shop floor. Having knowledgeable people in a company makes diversification a ready option in tough times.

Marketing Manager

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tooling U Expands Presence into Mexico

Tooling U is pleased to welcome Carlos Sarmiento to its sales team. Carlos joined the company in mid-January and has been assigned to the newly created Mexico/Latin America region.

Tooling U has been experiencing a large number of requests for training in the Latin America region. In an attempt to respond better to our regional customers there, we have expanded sales and support to the region.

Carlos joined the team in Cleveland for our annual sales meeting, and was immediately treated to “American Mexican” food at Zocalo. Carlos claims to be a very good dancer and singer, so hopefully he will be showing off those skills at our semi-annual meeting in July!

Welcome to the team, Carlos.

Director of Sales

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sales Team Goes Home Chalupa-less

Tooling U wrapped up its annual sales meeting in January. On January 8th and 9th, the entire sales team flew in from around the country to meet at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland. We accomplished a lot in the two days we were there—we worked on developing our sales strategies and projecting how we think Tooling U will react to the turbulent market and economy. Our main focus was on how we can improve our products to enhance our customers' experience with the products.

On Thursday, January 8th, we looked at historical sales data and worked on our marketing plans for 2009. Friday, we discussed best sales practices, contract negotiation best practices and goal setting.

The highlight of these meetings is always the food (and drink!), and this year proved no different! Thursday night we had a fantastic dinner at The Bistro on Lincoln Park in Tremont. Friday we enjoyed a Mexican feast at Zocala on East 4th.

Without a doubt, the most memorable event was our team bonding event. At dinner, we were surprised with the news that we were going to be attending the Cavaliers/Celtics game. We had great seats, right behind the basket. Dan Sloan’s height proved a worthy asset during the game – he reached far above the crowd and managed to snatch a lottery ticket parachute floating from the catwalk.

LeBron James made us proud, leading the Cavs to a 98-83 win. I must say, though, that we did feel a bit cheated in the end. Had the Cavs scored 100 points, everyone in the crowd would have won a free Chalupa from Taco Bell. I've never had a chalupa and was looking forward to trying one! But, with 12 seconds left in the game, the Cavs opted not to attempt the 100th point. So no Taco Bell Chalupas for us!

Sarah Wering
Marketing Manager