Press Release


(DEARBORN, Mich. — Sept. 16, 2014) — SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association and Tooling U-SME, a leader in providing workforce development and training to the manufacturing industry, announced Monday the launch of a new online training program aimed at closing the manufacturing skills gap in the plastics industry. Administered by Tooling U-SME, PlasticsU will serve the plastics industry by providing formal online training tailored specifically for the industry's challenges and needs.

"Our industry has some of the best and brightest workers, operating top-of-the-line equipment and technology," said SPI President and CEO William R. Carteaux. "Unfortunately, many of the technological advancements made recently are being held back by a growing manufacturing skills gap, which is why SPI partnered with Tooling U-SME to launch PlasticsU."

"The plastics industry will not realize its full capacity for growth and production unless companies take an active approach to workforce development. PlasticsU offers these companies flexibility and convenience to make this process easy."

As recent as 2013, a vast majority of U.S. manufacturing companies reported being challenged by a moderate shortage of qualified workers for skilled production, as reported by SME. Volume alone is no longer the sole solution to increased productivity. Highly technical and specialized skills are required not only to meet increased demand, but to maintain growth into the future.

"By instituting a training program, companies can ensure they remain competitive today and into the future," said Managing Director of Workforce and Education at SME, Jeannine Kunz. "Creating a well-trained workforce can help improve quality, cycle time, communications, reliability and safety, while reducing costs and downtime/rework."

Because SPI represents and supports such a wide range of the companies throughout the entire plastics industry, it partnered with Tooling U-SME to develop PlasticsU and provide a customized selection of courses and programs for areas specific to as many stakeholders as possible. With levels ranging from a basic introduction to the most advanced studies, courses include Interpreting Blueprints; Creating a Milling Program; Principles of Injection Molding; Measuring System Analysis; Rigging Inspection and Safety; and CNC Controls: GE Fanuc, Haas and Mazak.

To learn more about PlasticsU and to sign up, visit toolingu.com/spi.

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 toolingu.com, facebook.com/toolingu or follow @ToolingU on Twitter.

About SPI
Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $373 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly 900,000 American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI's industry services. Find SPI online at www.plasticsindustry.org and www.inthehopper.org.