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A little over a year ago, Tooling U-SME, a leading developer of manufacturing training solutions, announced the development of the first national additive manufacturing certification. Now Tooling U-SME has finalized an agreement with global safety science company UL to align training and certification in order to create a single source for professional additive manufacturing certification. In December 2017, the organizations signed a Letter of Intent to work together on enhanced workforce training and development efforts supporting manufacturers that want to increase their additive manufacturing capabilities.

The now-finalized formal agreement comes after the successful pilot of the Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification program at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) conference and RAPID + TCT earlier this year. UL offered the certification preparation class while Tooling U-SME provided the certification examination.

“This new partnership is the type of alliance the industry has been requesting for years, and we are pleased to collaborate with UL to address the market needs and bring this initiative to fruition. Aligning UL’s multitiered Additive Manufacturing Training Program to Tooling U-SME’s Additive Manufacturing Certification program underscores our commitment to enhancing professional development of the advanced manufacturing workforce,” said Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME.

[Image: Tooling-U SME via Facebook]

The agreement makes Tooling U-SME and UL partners in the Additive Manufacturing Professional Certification program, which is co-sponsored by America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The two partners will begin assessing necessary steps to develop the next phase of the initiative, the Additive Manufacturing Technician Certification program, which will launch later this year.

“With any new technology, proper education and training is vital to the continuation of innovation and growth. Through this collaboration, we are able to accelerate our efforts in advancing advanced manufacturing expertise among the incoming and incumbent workforce, creating countless opportunities for innovation in this industry,” said Melissa Albrecht, Global Program Manager of Additive Manufacturing, UL Ventures.

Skills in additive manufacturing are becoming more in more important in all industries, and creating a certification program ensures that people are getting the proper training, as well as being recognized for it. Additive manufacturing has become a marketable skill, and being certified is a definite resume-booster. Like any other industrial skill, it’s important to make sure that people who work with 3D printing are all trained according to the same protocol, and this certification program allows for the provision of universal training and skills. These two organizations are well-equipped to offer such a program, as well – Tooling U-SME has a large portfolio of learning and development solutions for manufacturers, while UL introduced the first additive manufacturing training program in 2014.

Tooling U-SME and UL will establish a formal Certification Oversight body to advise on the development and ongoing evolution of the Additive Manufacturing Certification program. Tooling U-SME invites additive manufacturing professionals interested in serving on the Certification Oversight body to contact Jaimie Christie (jchristie@sme.org) for more information.

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