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Southern Oklahoma Technology Center Honored

Tooling U-SME Recognizes Six Community and Technical Colleges with Platinum Education Center Award for Excellence in Manufacturing Training

(CLEVELAND, Oct. 3, 2014) — Coinciding with Manufacturing Day, Tooling U-SME, a leader in manufacturing training and development, today presented its Platinum Education Center designation to six community and technical colleges nationwide, including Southern Oklahoma Technology Center in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

The Tooling U-SME Platinum Education Center (TUPEC) awards are presented to educational facilities that serve as models in the manufacturing industry when it comes to developing an outstanding learning culture. Schools are selected based on adoption of Tooling U-SME's online training program and strong utilization rates of online training in a blended learning format. These six schools join 21 other past TUPEC awardees.

According to The Institute for Supply Management, the U.S. manufacturing industry is growing at its fastest pace within the past three years. However, according to The Boston Consulting Group, without aggressive action, the next decade is expected to bring a potential shortfall of 875,000 machinists, welders, industrial machinery mechanics and industrial engineers. As demand for skilled workers continues to increase, community colleges and technical schools are striving to provide training that meets the needs of manufacturers.

"The schools that we honor with the TUPEC designation demonstrate an exceptional commitment and dedication to preparing students for a successful career in the manufacturing industry," said Toni Neary, education specialist for Tooling U-SME's Government and Education Group. "Instructors at these schools are finding innovative ways to effectively use both online and hands-on training to help students develop critical skills and become strong candidates for employment at local manufacturing facilities."

The schools that received the 2014 TUPEC designation include:

  • Atlantic Technical College, Coconut Creek, Florida, employs an effective approach to training that integrates academics and technical training with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The program enables students to obtain information and tools, while enabling instructors to provide hands-on support.
  • Fayetteville (North Carolina) Technical Community College is part of a consortium of statewide community colleges that aims to educate and train displaced and dislocated workers to fill the needs of local manufacturers. Using state-of-the-art equipment for hands-on training and a new approach to learning, students can earn certificates, degrees and diplomas, and ultimately, obtain full-time employment.
  • Greenfield (Massachusetts) Community College has partnered with Tooling U-SME for a new training program for entry-level CNC operators, targeting unemployed and underemployed workers. In addition, to meet the demand for skills workers in its community, Greenfield Community College has worked with area manufacturers to pilot classes for incumbent workers.
  • Kellogg Community College, Battle Creek, Michigan, has proven to be a pioneer in the way it structures its training, offering a dynamic open-entry/open-exit program that gives students flexibility in scheduling coursework and laboratory work.
  • Southern Oklahoma Technology Center, Ardmore, Oklahoma, uses Tooling U-SME online courses as a supplement to textbooks and other resources to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive educational experience.
  • The Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AZ-AMI) of Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona, has enhanced its current curriculum and laboratory equipment, and is blending innovation using technology such as Tooling U-SME online training. In addition to traditional students, the AZ-AMI strategy is to attract workers with existing skills and aptitude to help them develop new skills sought by local employers.

Since 2012, Tooling U-SME has been recognizing exceptional schools that are helping build a robust pipeline of skilled manufacturing workers in the U.S. with the TUPEC award.

For more information about Tooling U-SME, email or visit

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 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. A division of SME, an organization that connects people to manufacturing solutions, Tooling U-SME can be found at, or follow @ToolingU on Twitter.

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Kyle Potvin, Splash Communications
O: 603.893.1707
M: 917.838.4500

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