IMTS 2010: SME acquires Tooling U to expand training outreach

Association president says new training arm will "enable us to offer comprehensive learning and work force development solutions to help companies combat this increasing talent shortage."


The Society of Manufacturing Engineers announced at IMTS 2010 on Wednesday that it had acquired Cleveland-based Tooling University LLC, a leading provider of online training for the manufacturing industry. SME officials said the move is part of the organization’s strategy to become “the unquestioned leader of content development and delivery, addressing the global and growing need for skilled labor.”

Educating the current and future manufacturing work force is critical for the health and growth of the manufacturing industry, and a core issue for SME.

“By 2012, it is estimated the United States alone will be short three million skilled workers,” said Barbara M. Fossum, PhD, FSME, and president of SME. “Acquiring Tooling U is part of a new initiative that will enable us to offer comprehensive learning and work force development solutions to help companies combat this increasing talent shortage, and to provide a much broader span of continuing education opportunities for member career growth.

 “As the world of knowledge delivery continues to evolve, we will leverage the expertise and wealth of knowledge among our members to accelerate the development of new learning programs and meet the changing needs of the marketplace,” Fossum said. The full range of SME professional development resources is designed to benefit educational institutions such as high schools, community colleges, tech schools and universities, as well as practitioners and companies.

Mark Tomlinson, SME executive director and general manager, said the acquisition allows SME to fill a gap for individuals seeking advancement in their careers in many areas of a manufacturing organization through continuing education, including in manufacturing management and leadership.

 “No other entity in manufacturing has the history, expertise and reach of SME,” said Chad Schron, co-founder of Tooling U. “During the last decade, we have built Tooling U into the number one source of online training for the manufacturing industry. Now, with SME’s vast and growing resources, we will have the ability to provide our customers and SME members with new and enhanced online education along with a full portfolio of work force development options, all in one place.”

Anyone interested in learning more or participating should contact Jeannine Kunz, SME director of marketing and professional development,

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