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Workforce Development: AMT and SME Join Forces

Sept. 12, 2023
The Association for Manufacturing Technology and Society of Manufacturing Engineers join forces in a strategic partnership that seeks to scale workforce solutions.

The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and SME have announced a strategic partnership in workforce development.

Located in McLean, Virginia, AMT represents U.S.-based providers of manufacturing technology, including advanced machinery, devices and digital equipment. SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) is a nonprofit representing the North American manufacturing industry, including manufacturers, academia, professionals and students.

The two organizations are positioning their collaboration as an effort to strengthen their clout through workforce development, educational products and services and student events.

“Workforce development continues to be one of the most important factors affecting our members and the manufacturing community, so it makes sense to combine our forces in this area to scale solutions,” said Douglas K. Woods, president and chief executive officer at AMT.

Conditions of the partnership include:

  • Onboarding Greg Jones, former AMT vice president, Smartforce Development, to the workforce development team of SME. Jones will serve as director, strategic programs and partnerships, and will report to Jeannine Kunz, chief workforce development officer at SME.
  • SME will now own and operate AMT’s education products and services. SME will continue to leverage Tooling U-SME, the organization’s workforce development area.
  • The AMT programs migrating to SME include the Certified Manufacturing Technology Sales Engineer (CMTSE) program, the MT Sales Fundamentals program and additional AMT e-learning products in the area of transformational technologies. The roll-up of products under Tooling U-SME will provide one access point to the larger and more integrated solution for meeting the needs of manufacturers and members, noted the press release.
  • SME and AMT will coproduce the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2024.

“This is a key indicator of our belief that unprecedented collaboration is required at this time to fully address the current and near-term education and workforce development challenges facing manufacturers in North America,” Kunz said in a press release. “There are a tremendous number of valuable programs happening across the United States, and the more we can amplify, align, and strengthen one another, the more impactful we can be for individuals, educators, employers, and communities.”

Workforce Development at IMTS AMT is known for its expansive IMTS—The International Manufacturing Technology Show, held every other year in Chicago. The show is also the convening site for the Smartforce Student Summit, which showcases the manufacturing technology classroom of the future. AMT noted that the event has served more than 100,000 students and educators over the years. The Student Summit is designed to inspire students to consider careers in STEM and lead them to a career in manufacturing.

“Expanding our existing partnership with AMT on producing the MT Series and Smart Manufacturing Experience events to include collaborating on workforce development is exactly what nonprofits should continuously aim to do when it benefits the industry,” said Bob Willig, executive director and chief executive officer at SME. “We are particularly excited to work with AMT on coproducing the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2024 centered around our shared vision for the ‘manufacturing technology classroom of the future.’”

IMTS 2024 will run Sept. 9-14 and will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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