(CLEVELAND, May 2, 2017) — Additive manufacturing is a rapidly developing market, and the evolution of this technology is outpacing product design and development. As a result, there is a critical need for continuous training and development to ensure the manufacturing workforce keeps up with the latest advancements. Tooling U-SME — the workforce development arm of SME — has launched a portfolio of additive manufacturing learning and development solutions that includes access to specialized training packages, apprenticeship programs and the industry’s first certification — all to support manufacturers that want to increase additive manufacturing operations at their companies/organizations and schools looking to prepare their students for careers in manufacturing.
According to the recently released “2017 Wohlers Report,” the additive manufacturing industry reached revenues of $6.063 billion in 2016, and with expected growth of 4.3 times over the next few years, the market is estimated to reach about $26.2 billion by 2022. A number of factors contribute to the exponential growth of additive manufacturing — less material waste, faster tooling, quicker production time, lower costs and shorter time to market/production.
“Restructuring the workforce to accommodate increased additive manufacturing operations is a major concern for companies that want to ramp up work in this market,” said Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME. “More and more, manufacturers are increasing the number of additive-made parts in products, so having a workforce with the right skills to use this new technology is an increasingly important priority for companies and schools.”
SME, a nonprofit organization that promotes advanced manufacturing technology, has been at the forefront of additive manufacturing for decades, starting in 1990 with the creation of an industry event known today as the RAPID + TCT conference, a gathering point for users and developers of 3D manufacturing. SME’s partnership with America Makes to accelerate additive manufacturing and 3D print technologies led to the development of the Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative, a collaborative working group representing SME, America Makes, the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing and Materials.
The AMLI-developed body of knowledge provides the foundation for the first and only nationally normalized, stackable or sequential, credential process in additive manufacturing. The new Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification is ideal for individuals seeking to advance their career, as well as community colleges and companies that want to grow a well-trained workforce with an understanding of additive technologies. This assessment will serve as a prerequisite for the next phase, the Additive Manufacturing Technician Certification, which will be rolled out later this year. These stackable certifications can lead to an additive manufacturing apprenticeship such as those Tooling U-SME support through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program.
The first exam for the Additive Manufacturing Fundamental Certification will take place at the RAPID+TCT 2017 conference, May 8-11, 2017, in Pittsburgh.
“Tooling U-SME works with companies and educational institutions to build holistic workforce learning and development solutions that align to our certification and apprenticeship programs,” adds Kunz, who was recently elected to the 2017-18 executive committee for America Makes. “Through our Turnkey Training, online classes, instructor-led training and supporting video materials, we’re able to provide the incumbent and future additive manufacturing workforce with industry-leading training that will ensure their success in the market.”
Preparation for the Additive Certifications is supported by eight online classes, which are offered by Tooling U-SME. These classes were developed in conjunction with Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.
SME also promotes the advancement of additive manufacturing through its Smart Manufacturing Seminar Series, content in SMART Manufacturing magazine, student competitions such as the SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing competition and its member-only Additive Manufacturing Community.
To learn more about SME’s work in additive manufacturing, visit sme.org/3D. Click here to register for RAPID+TCT 2017 and sign up for the Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification review program and exam.
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, facebook.com/toolingu or follow @ToolingU on Twitter.