Leading the Way: Tooling U-SME's tuX Workforce Development Conference Draws Industry Pioneers

June 20, 2024
  • Jeannine Kuntz
    By Jeannine Kunz
    Chief Workforce Development Officer
    Tooling U-SME

I’m still reflecting on the inspirational and impactful time I had at the recent tuXperience Workforce Development conference in Pittsburgh. tuX is a one-of-a-kind gathering dedicated to sharing best practices in training and workforce, joining forces this year with the Smart Manufacturing Experience. I am fortunate to witness the tenacity and passion our industry has for improving. 

Over two days—June 4-5, 2024— industry leaders from across the nation convened to address one of the most pressing issues in manufacturing: workforce development.

As I shared during the event, in this digital age, it is not just about embracing technology in manufacturing operations but also tapping into Generative AI, machine learning, or virtual reality, for example, to evolve the methods used to recruit, train and retain talent.

We covered a lot—and I walked away excited to witness the industry making great strides to connect talent with employers in innovative and impactful ways.

tuX 2024 Event Highlights

If you haven’t attended tuX before, here are some top-end highlights:

  • Valuable learning how to fill an organization's workforce pipeline and align training programs to maximize bottom lines.
  • Networking with peers and discussing how their successful solutions might work for other organizations.
  • Gaining knowledge through key sessions, panels, and interactive presentations from top-performing large, medium, and small manufacturers, educators, and other workforce agencies and experts.
  • Making new friends and growing our network of collaborators and resources.

SME has always embodied collaboration as a core value, and we are committed to unprecedented collaboration and connections as the way to address the national talent crisis.

To help accelerate this process, tuX unites leaders across the manufacturing landscape to discuss effective solutions and best practices geared towards enhancing workforce recruitment, training, and knowledge transfer.

Attendees included trainers, manufacturing operation leaders, HR executives, educators, non-profits, and government officials, all united by a passion for training and workforce development with a common goal of advancing the US manufacturing sector.

Some topics included:

Industry Pulse: Advancing Workforce Development

Maintaining the status quo for employee training and development is no longer an option. Attendees joined for a discussion about the critical importance of workforce development for the future of manufacturing. Retirements, a decreased talent pipeline, the need for new, advanced technology skills, and the gig economy threaten businesses of all sizes, and, ultimately, the national economy. We discovered actionable steps to educate and retain the current workforce while attracting new talent.

Truths That Drive Organizational Success

At the heart of organizational success lie fundamental truths about human behavior. Matt Havens, Generational Expert, unveiled the Four Human Truths and explored their impact on employee dynamics. We discovered strategies for fostering a supportive culture where growth stems from embracing challenges from generational differences and learning from failures.

This event included many additional industry panels, presentations, and networking opportunities, as well as a social event at PNC Park for a Pittsburgh Pirates game. Visit tux.tooling.com to view the full recap of 2024 events.

Manufacturing Training History

Reflecting on our history, Tooling U-SME remains at the forefront of innovation in manufacturing workforce development. We pioneered online classes 20 some years ago when discussions in plants were around access via dial-up and since then, continually adapted our delivery methods to accommodate modern technology, ensuring accessibility across various devices.

Furthermore, we've enhanced our content with multimedia elements to enhance engagement and retention.

Our catalog of Virtual Labs has expanded, offering immersive learning experiences that empower individuals, manufacturers, educational institutions, and workforce development organizations. Trainees navigate virtual environments, honing their skills and demonstrating proficiency in real-world manufacturing scenarios.

As Smart Technology and topics such as electrification and battery storage continue to exert rapid changes on manufacturing, Tooling U-SME has renewed its commitment to helping the industry adapt by providing state-of-the-art delivery methods and leading-edge curriculum and certifications to upskill the workforce.

Thank you to all of those who joined us at tuX and shared strategies and best practices for workforce development to help others seeking guidance based on your lessons learned as you walk before them.

Don't miss your chance to connect with industry leaders and elevate your workforce development strategy. Join us again for the tuXperience Workforce Development conference.

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