January 16 — Tooling U-SME, the leading provider of manufacturing training solutions, announced today that the Department of Defense has awarded it a workforce and education grant to develop training programs that support the skills development of America’s workforce in the defense sector.

The DoD grant, sponsored by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research in support of the Manufacturing Engineering Education Program, will help Tooling U-SME develop relevant, manufacturing-focused training for the current and next-generation manufacturing workforce that produces military systems and components to assure the DoD’s technological superiority.

“We know there’s an execution gap in manufacturing when it comes to training the workforce. The challenges facing the defense supply chain are the same facing all manufacturers – recruiting and retaining talent, then onboarding and upskilling workers to keep up with the latest technologies and processes. Addressing this challenge is what we do every day,” said Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME. “Tooling U-SME is honored to be part of the work of keeping defense manufacturing up to date with the latest in advanced technology and processes and building the next generation of the defense supply chain workforce.”

Historically, America’s manufacturing base has allowed the country to build the most complex and capable weapons systems in the world, empowering the U.S. military to meet a full spectrum of missions. Today, manufacturing is changing, and new technologies require new skills – upskilling both the current and new workforce. At the same time, technological advances and changing behaviors and expectations demand that all manufacturers identify updated delivery methods for training, leveraging the latest in technology to make training efficient and effective. The grant to Tooling U-SME by the DoD recognizes the organization’s leadership role in working with manufacturers, understanding the industry’s unique workforce needs, and delivering solutions to meet those needs.

“The work to be executed by Tooling U-SME and its partners under this award directly aligns with Lockheed Martin’s efforts in hiring, developing and training our advanced manufacturing workforce,” said Michael Packer, FSME, manufacturing director, Lockheed Martin. “The training programs and virtual delivery methods being developed by Tooling U-SME will help us engage, onboard and upskill every generation to create an even more agile and advanced manufacturing workforce.” 

Tooling U-SME has partnered with Hamilton-Ryker® TalentGro and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills to deploy these new educational resources into apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs and align to industry-recognized credentials. These resources are part of the deliverables of the newly awarded grant.

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