SME, the nonprofit committed to accelerating new manufacturing technology adoption and building North America's talent and capabilities, announced a strategic partnership with the Alliance for Working Together Foundation (AWT), an organization based in Ohio dedicated to promoting manufacturing careers and bridging the gap in the industry’s skilled workforce.

This partnership marks a significant milestone in SME’s efforts to further the professional interests of manufacturing professionals and related industries, motivate interest in manufacturing in community groups, schools, and institutions, as well as to encourage the exchange and dissemination of technical, product, and market information. By joining forces with AWT, SME strengthens its presence and impact in Northeast Ohio and beyond, both in-person and virtually. 

Under the partnership, SME and AWT will facilitate greater networking and collaboration opportunities. SME Chapters in Ohio and its surrounding areas will have access to and tour AWT’s Transformation Training Center which provides training and pathways for Northeast Ohio’s collective skilled manufacturing labor force and serves as a hub for workforce development for Northeast Ohio. This arrangement will initially span one year, during which both organizations will focus on developing joint programming aimed at promoting workforce training and careers in manufacturing.

“This partnership between SME and AWT underscores the importance of organizations working together to meet common goals in supporting manufacturing,” said Sheronda Carr, vice president, SME Membership. “By leveraging our complementary strengths and resources, we can better address the evolving needs of the manufacturing industry creating a cohesive link from K-16 at inspiring and engaging the next workforce, creating many more opportunities for career development.” 

“This collaboration will help accelerate the work both SME and AWT are doing separately in workforce development across the country,” said Teresa Simons, executive director of AWT. “The agreement will help us promote the advancement of rewarding careers in manufacturing for the long-term success and growth of our manufacturing community.”

The partnership will see SME and AWT collaborating on various initiatives, including organizing joint webinars, in-person events, and programs addressing topics of mutual interest such as attracting skilled talent, manufacturing education, and awareness of important industry issues. Additionally, joint projects such as career forums, workshops, and educational offerings will be explored to maximize mutual benefits.

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