SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce based in Southfield, announced the appointment of Jeannine Kunz to the newly created position of chief workforce development officer.
In this role, she will work with Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of SME, and association’s board of directors to leverage its existing and extensive foundation of manufacturing workforce solutions.
She will work on leading new partnerships, programs, and service offerings, providing end-to-end workforce and training solutions for communities, companies and educational institutions. This increased investment enables SME to accelerate the development of the manufacturing pipeline with new, highly skilled workers, while also upskilling incumbent employees who encounter new, advanced technologies with the abilities they need to compete globally.
“Jeannine has an amazing track record over her more than 20 years with SME in workforce education and development,” says Willig. “We’re pleased to take this step in announcing our intent to further invest and grow SME’s efforts in workforce development, and we’re highly confident in Jeannine’s ability to lead this important initiative.”
Kunz joined SME in 2000 and in 2010 led the acquisition of Tooling U, an online training organization, enhancing SME’s existing training and certification portfolio and increasing its ability to address the emerging national manufacturing skills gap. Since then, SME has worked with thousands of employers and more than thousands of schools, training hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
“I greatly appreciate the opportunity and vote of confidence, and I am fortunate to have been supported along the way by a very dedicated team of professionals who believe in the strategic and important value a trained and educated workforce has on local and national competitiveness, economic prosperity and national security,” says Kunz.
“We strongly believe the industry needs an accelerated, collaborative and innovative approach to meeting manufacturing’s workforce challenges. Our team plans to expand our partnerships with like-minded organizations to take bold action in making a difference for this industry.”