Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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SME to acquire Tooling U for online training


September 24, 2010
By Mary Del


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The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), based in Dearborn, Mich., and Tooling University LLC (Tooling U), based in Cleveland, Ohio, have signed a definitive agreement for SME to acquire all outstanding shares of Tooling U, a provider of online training for the manufacturing industry. The move is an important step in SME’s strategy to become the leader of content development and delivery, addressing the global and growing need for skilled labour.

SME’s certification products, in-person training and webinar offerings will be combined with Tooling U’s online training platform and more than 400 courses to provide the global manufacturing community with a comprehensive source of manufacturing knowledge. Educating the current and future manufacturing work force is critical for the health and growth of the manufacturing industry.

"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 workforce 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."

The transaction is expected to close at the end of September.

Following the acquisition, SME’s Tooling U will continue to operate without interruption, providing online education with its existing staff from its base in Cleveland. Going forward, SME will invest in additional online courses and a more interactive interface to support all levels of employees, from the machinist and shop-floor worker to manufacturing engineers and management personnel.
www.sme.org