CLEVELAND, OH, Apr 20, 2017 – SME, a nonprofit association that serves the manufacturing industry, has a long history of working on manufacturing solutions with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In the mid-2000s, many MEP centers and SME organizations collaborated on integrating their respective strengths, expertise and offerings to provide small-to-mid-size manufacturers with comprehensive lean training and certification programs.
More than 10 years later, this collaboration continues and is now expanding well beyond lean solutions.
To further address the growing training needs of manufacturers, the MEP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) of workforce educational partnership with Tooling U-SME — the learning and development division of SME and leading provider of manufacturing training solutions — further building a skilled manufacturing workforce in the U.S. The new partnership resulting from this MOU will help expand the resources MEP centers offer their clients and give greater flexibility in training solutions to develop their local industry’s workforce.
Nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be available in the U.S. by 2025; however, a shortage of skilled workers is expected to result in two million of these jobs going unfilled, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Efforts to close this skills gap are increasing and partnerships like the MEP and Tooling U-SME will accelerate the progress of the workforce to become ready for jobs that involve advanced technologies.
“We have a responsibility to empower the manufacturing industry with the tools they need to succeed, and by furthering our partnership with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, we’re able to make great progress in staving off the shortage of workers with the right skills,” said Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME.
The MEP national network comprises 51 centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Each center is a partnership between the federal government and a variety of public or private entities — including state, university and nonprofit organizations — all dedicated to helping small and medium-sized manufacturers create and retain jobs, increase profits and raise productivity.
“Collaborating with Tooling U-SME will increase our ability to help more manufacturers reach their productivity and economic goals, while ensuring the growth of the industry,” said Carroll Thomas, MEP director. “Being able to connect our centers and their clients with industry-driven workforce training from Tooling U-SME is a win-win for our centers and their manufacturing clients.”
About Tooling U-SME
Tooling U-SME delivers versatile, competency-based learning and development solutions to the manufacturing community, working with more than half of all Fortune 500® manufacturing companies, as well as 600 educational institutions across the country. Tooling U-SME partners with customers to build high performers who help their companies drive quality, productivity, innovation, and employee satisfaction. Working directly with hundreds of high schools, community colleges, and universities, Tooling U-SME is also able to help prepare the next generation workforce by providing industry-driven curriculum. A division of SME, an organization that connects people to manufacturing solutions, Tooling U-SME can be found at toolingu.com.
About the Manufacturing Extension Partnership
MEP is a public-private partnership dedicated to serving small and mid-sized manufacturers that is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and implemented through a national network of industry-led centers with 1,300 experts throughout the country. Last year,the MEP national network interacted with 25,445 manufacturers, leading to $9.3 billion in sales, $1.4 billion in cost savings, $3.5 billion in new client investments, and helped create and retain more than 86,602 jobs.
Visit www.nist.gov/mep or call (800) MEP-4MFG for your local MEP center.