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Press Release

SME Seeks Nominations for 2022 Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award

Honoring Industry Leaders in Workforce Development 

SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, has announced that nominations are now open for the 2022 SME Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award. The award, established in 2020, honors innovative best practices in training programs focused on building a high-performing incumbent and future workforce.

The demands and challenges involving the adoption of advanced and emerging technology plus ongoing retirements of experienced, knowledgeable employees requires manufacturers to develop a workforce skilled in current tools, equipment, materials, and processes. A highly competitive labor market means that training and upskilling are also key elements of a company’s retention strategy.

SME established the annual Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award to recognize manufacturers who implement best practices to reduce the skills gap and build a high-performance workforce with training programs employing defined performance-based competency models, learning solutions aligned with business and job needs, establishment of formalized training, structured on-the-job training (OJT) programs, and measurement of training programs to ensure positive impact.

“Companies today must recognize the opportunity and value of investing in their workforce,” said Jeannine Kunz, vice president, Tooling U-SME, the workforce development division of SME. “The Excellence in Manufacturing Training Award spotlights manufacturers who understand the key role of talent in sustainable business success – they demonstrate an exceptional commitment and dedication to talent development, recruitment and retention."

The nomination and application period runs through February 14, 2022, and is open to manufacturers of all sizes and in all industries.

Each application will be judged on an organization’s demonstration of the following criteria: 

  • Policies and Procedures
  • Job Definition  
  • Curriculum  
  • Quality and Continuous Improvement
  • Training Infrastructure 

The award recipient, to be announced in May, will receive an official award for display, participation in a Tooling U-SME webinar or podcast about their program, invitation to and acknowledgement at the SME Awardsl Gala, and a recognition and publicity program from SME.

For more information and to apply, go to