Fastener News Desk‘s Fastener Training Q&A with Chad Schron
January 19, 2015
Responses from Chad Schron, Co-founder and Vice President of Operations and Technology, Tooling U-SME
1. What value does Tooling U-SME believe that training brings to manufacturing companies?
At Tooling U-SME, we’ve found that what sets world-class companies apart from their competitors is an understanding of, and commitment to, investing in their employees, also known as “human capital.” A focus on human capital helps drive competitiveness. This is extremely important as you consider the existing and pending talent shortages. The skills gap is a major challenge for many manufacturers due to limited employee pipeline, a retiring workforce, reshoring and the changing pace of technology. According to some of our recent research in Tooling U-SME’s 2014 Manufacturing Insights Report, just 39 percent of manufacturers are anywhere close to world-class manufacturing status – that means there are plenty of opportunities for manufacturers to capture new productivity and profits through a focus on human capital.
2. Is there a certificate for completing the training program?
Validation of knowledge and skills is an important measure of a workforce and Tooling U-SME maps online training classes to the National Institute for Metalworking Skills(NIMS) Standards, SME Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) certification, Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) standards and American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE Level 1 standard.
3. How would you value the level of ROI to companies that train their workforce?
According to SME research, 64 percent of manufacturers say productivity losses are a result of a skills gap and more than half (56 percent) report the gap in skilled labor has impacted their company’s ability to grow. Without a doubt, building a robust pipeline of skilled workers is a critical step to achieving enhanced productivity and profitability while reducing downtime and waste.
Tooling U-SME has worked with more than 5,000 organizations to train roughly 210,000 people, including more than 50 percent of Fortune 500® manufacturing companies as well as community colleges, high schools and middle schools throughout the U.S. The organizations focused on developing their people are the ones achieving the greatest success.
4. Are your courses available to SME members only?
Tooling U-SME courses are available to all companies and educators.
5. How can the new workforce “millennials” benefit in their careers by participating in training and educational programs?
Focusing on our up and coming workforce is essential for the growth of the manufacturing industry as well as for our country overall. Innovation, creativity and ingenuity will help us remain competitive in a global economy. Well-trained people are the engine behind this continued innovation. Fortunately, we are seeing manufacturers and schools working together to provide both formal learning and informal learning opportunities.
At Tooling U-SME, we are intent on developing training and tools that can help companies develop high performers and reach their business goals. For instance, knowing that a company’s access to skilled workers is critical for growing a business, we brought together a cross-section of manufacturing experts to create Tooling U-SME’s Competency Framework for achieving manufacturing excellence. The tool features a series of competency models in nine manufacturing functional areas. It is made up of more than 60 job role competency models, each outlining knowledge and skills objectives for job roles in production, technician and lead technician/technologist and engineer levels. It allows companies to combat the increasing talent shortage and achieve stronger performance from their workforce. It also offers important benefits to employees by providing clear development pathways and career growth opportunities for employees.
6. Lastly, quote from you about “investment in human capital” and what it means to our sustainability as we bring manufacturing back to the US.
World-class companies are outperforming others in large part because they manage and train differently. As more jobs are headed back to the U.S., this investment in human capital is critical to addressing an existing and growing talent shortage. The bottom line is that a well-trained workforce is a competitive advantage, driving innovation, customer satisfaction, quality, productivity and growth.