Training and Events

Training and learning events enhance performance, innovation, engagement and motivation. Our publicly scheduled events have been designed to boost you or your teams’ skills for a variety of manufacturing-focused opportunities.

Are you looking for specific solutions and tools or would you like to bring VMEC into your company for a service or project tailored for your team or entire company?  VMEC works directly with organizations to develop capability in systems and people and to collaborate on events for the manufacturing community.  Contact Us to bring existing, tailored or new training to you.

Tooling U-SME

Tooling U-SME

With nearly 600 online classes, virtual labs, instructor-led training, certifications, apprenticeships, consulting and more, Tooling U-SME works with thousands of company industry leaders, including more than half of all Fortune 500® manufacturers, 1,000+ educational institutions across the country and more than half of the states in our MEP National Network.  

Manufacturers Are Able To:

  • Build a more capable, adaptable workforce with 24/7 flexibility
  • Close and add to targeted, foundational knowledge and skill gaps in real time
  • Free up your internal experienced, value creating, in-demand technical experts
  • Inspire individual, professional growth in a safe, self-paced, on-line environment

Technology and the Human Touch using Tooling U-SME and VMEC  Not only does Tooling U-SME deliver needed content, it delivers the latest technology.  Interactive online classes increase engagement and knowledge retention and a mobile app provides the ability to learn anytime, anywhere.

“Tooling U-SME has been an integral part of The Husky Machinist Academy. It supplemented our curriculum with detailed, well-paced classes on topics like grinding, G code, and tool offsets, and reinforced the students’ classroom learning. A bonus was teaching “time management” and “work prioritization skills” to the apprentices. It fits in nicely to the program and we would like to incorporate it into future versions of The Husky Machinist Academy.”
Devon McGarry, Campus Recruiter/Talent Marketing Specialist, Husky Technologies™ 

Tooling U-SME and VMEC work together with you to identify the appropriate learning outcomes, and quickly customize paths and offerings to make the optimum impact for the company and the individuals. We add value to your training program by offering a blended and adaptive solution, providing input and follow-up to the selection of learning options, hands-on support and integration as needed. We excel in supporting adoption of new learning in your processes to ensure you get the maximum value from your training investment.

Click on the following topics to view ways we can help your organization in furthering your training needs and capabilities: 

Contact Carla Wuthrich, VMEC Director of Field Operations and People Development Lead, to review the Tooling U-SME curriculum and find out how we can help you to support your people and your company results through these cutting edge programs.

Food Safety Certification and Training Programs

Food Safety Certification and Training Programs

VMEC is pleased to announce that we have partnered with highly accredited and acclaimed food safety experts in their respective fields to offer our VT manufacturers food safety certifications and training programs. As someone whose livelihood depends on keeping Vermonters and others around our country and possibly international populations with the highest quality of food and beverage the Green Mtn. State has to offer, we bring to you several opportunities to engage in programs to further develop your company’s success as it relates to food safety.  

Cornell Dairy Foods Extension, the University of Idaho and Registrar Corp. are offering discounted programs in the form of certificates and CEUs (Continuing Education Units), virtual and in-person options ranging from a few hours to single day to multi-day courses. 

The topic offerings just to name a few are: HACCP accredited courses, Food Safety Planning, Business Planning, FSMA Preventive Controls, Good Manufacturing Practices for Food, SQF Quality Management Systems, Managing Performance, Marketing, Cleaning and Sanitation, Environmental Hazards.  There are many more valuable sessions that are geared to specific industries and topics. 

Please visit the links below to sign up for a course or courses that suit the needs of you and your company as they relate to food safety. They fill fast so if you see something that interests you, please register at your earliest convenience. Each organization’s registration link is provided below and payment will be through their websites. 

Cornell Dairy Foods Extension - To obtain the in-state (Vermont) discounted rate, please add “/VMEC” to your company name when registering and choose the in-state rate to be eligible for that level pricing; this applies for all Vermont food/ beverage producers. Questions? Contact Louise M. Felker, Program Coordinator, Cornell Dairy Foods Extension, [email protected]

Boise State - Idaho - Tech Help - To obtain a 10% discount off the final price of any of their events, insert coupon code “VMEC10” when prompted.  Questions? Contact Dr. Janna Hamlett, Asst. Professor & Food Processing Specialist, Tech Help, [email protected]

Registrar Corp. - To obtain a 25% discount off the final price of online training and downloadable templates, please contact Louis Prue, VMEC Business Advisor, or Robynn Albert, VMEC Marketing and Training Manager, and one of them will provide a promo code to be used during the check out process.  View the complete list of courses which contain links and short descriptions for VMEC-approved training opportunities hereQuestions? Contact Betsy Hsiao, Director of Food Safety Online Training, Registrar Corp., [email protected]

Lean 101 Training – Lean Transformation in Manufacturing

January 12, 2024

Lean 101 Training – Lean Transformation in Manufacturing

River Valley Technical Center, 307 South Street, Springfield, VT • 8:00am - 4:00pm • $450 pp

Lean is a learning system that develops capability and adaptability in people and processes. Lean 101 workshops have created and reignited the spark for improvement in countless organizations in Vermont and across the globe. When paired with the commitment to further engage and develop employees at all levels, Lean has proven to result in the competitive edge that attracts customers, employees and investors.

VMEC’s Lean 101 with SEWBIZ simulation is a highly interactive workshop, like the well known BUZZ Electronics Lean 101 simulation. It integrates key fundamental learning points into three, integrated rounds of a simulated assembly business, SEWBIZ.  Participants experience directly the immediate and dramatic impact that Lean can have on how they feel, how they work and how their company performs. No previous experience is required. It is also suitable for Lean practitioners seeking a refresher.

Participants will begin this workshop as a new employee in a chaotic manufacturing company.  The results of SEWBIZ in the first round of simulation provide the basis on which Lean principles will be applied. Participants revisit the manufacturing environment and apply the Lean fundamentals that are taught “in the classroom”. Simple financial statements prepared after each round of the simulation show the impact of the improvements on a company’s bottom line. Lean Fundamentals covered include:

• Waste / Value added
• Flow vs. Overproduction
• Problem Solving & Improvement (PDCA, Kata)
• Standard work (TWI)
• Workplace organization (5S)
• Visual controls (Kanban)
• Plant layout & Point-of-use storage (POUS)
• Quick changeover (SMED)
• Batch size reduction (One Piece Flow)
• Quality at the source
• Pull systems, Supermarkets & 2-bin system
• Value Stream Mapping

Participants will walk away recognizing the 8 wastes, as they are known in Lean Manufacturing,  and with an introduction to mindsets and methods that they can use to eliminate these wastes in their own companies, as they did at SEWBIZ. They will also recognize that they are each now part of the community of learners and benefactors of Lean in Vermont as well as across the world.

NOTE: When registering for this training at the Learn More button, be sure to check "VMEC Lean 101" under the Course Selection field. 

Questions? Contact VMEC Business Growth Advisors Carla Wuthrich or Louis Prue regarding the training and its content. If you encounter issues registering for this training, contact Chris Gray, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Instructor, River Valley Technical Center at [email protected] or (802) 885-8321. 

NOTE: In order to ensure VMEC is offering the best business improvement programs to Vermont manufacturers and justify continued U.S. Dept. of Commerce funding for these services, participants may be asked to provide impact data and assessment through an impartial 3rd party survey firm 6 – 12 months after a VMEC-hosted public workshop.

ExporTech – An Export Acceleration System for Achieving Profitable Growth

January 30, 2024 - April 9, 2024

ExporTech – An Export Acceleration System for Achieving Profitable Growth

Virtual • Various times, see below • $4,000 per company; a $3,000 STEP grant is available for qualifying companies

Are you exporting now and if so, is it to your fullest potential?  And if you’re not exporting, would you like to pursue a plan for your company’s international sales launch and successful growth?  And most importantly, can you afford the resources this business venture will entail?  We have the solution!

ExporTech is a structured process designed to accelerate export growth for small- to medium-sized manufacturers.  This 10-week program is specifically targeted at the executive leadership of forward-looking companies that want to develop and execute a strategic growth plan to expand international sales. 

If you desire to grow your international sales and want to do it right the first time, join us to Plan, Educate, Connect and Execute with ExporTech 2024!  

Plan - Develop a strategic export growth plan in 10 weeks, and obtain feedback from experienced international business leaders on your strategy.

Educate - Learn about a wide range of topics and best practices from real word business experts and successful exporters – with opportunity for individualized consultation and coaching.

Connect - Meet experts that become part of your network and learn about federal and state programs, services, and grants that many exporters are unaware of. 

Execute - Execute your plan with the support from expert partner resources that can help you go-to-market while reducing cost and risk.

With group workshops and individual coaching, in just 10 weeks time, you’ll create an export plan specifically for your company 

Each company is assigned an experienced coach to provide focused, one-on-one support in the development and execution of its plans.  The customized workshops and discussions help companies learn from peers in order to extract the information they need to develop an actionable and targeted plan.  

Topics include: Value Proposition, Market Research, Target Market Selection, Sales & Distribution, Financing, Logistics & Documentation, Compliance, Payment, Legal Issues, Website Globalization and so much more. Your company team will prepare and present its export plan to experienced exporters for feedback, next steps and plan implementation. Follow-up coaching and support from partners to execute your plan (including US Commercial Service programs) will have you on your way to your company’s successful international sales launch and future growth! 

Yes, you can afford ExporTech 2024!

With the help of the State of Vermont’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant, qualifying companies receive 75% off the cost of the program, bringing the $4,000 fee for company teams (up to 4 people/ company) down to just $1,000. View the STEP Grant Application at this link and contact Daegan Goodman, STEP Program Manager, (802) 622-4193 or [email protected] for questions and/ or assistance in completing the application. 

The What, Who, When and Where

The 10 week virtual program will be offered Tuesdays from January 30 - April 9, 2024.  The schedule is outlined below with tentative topics; all times noted are EST. The coaching sessions will be scheduled accordingly based on company and coaches availability, separate and in addition to what you see below. 

Click here to view the ExporTech 2024 program flyer.

This ExporTech program is combining efforts with several Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) sister centers around the country so you will have the opportunity to meet others who are also going through their own exporting journey.  VMEC is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Vermont.

January 30 - 1:30 - 3:30 pm - Kick-off - Program Overview, Introduction to Exporting, Value Proposition Discussion 

February 6 - 1:30 - 5:00 pm - Setting the Stage - Company Introductions and Traits of Successful Exporters 

February 13 - 9:30 - 11:30 am - Sales and Marketing 

February 20 - 1:30 - 3:30 pm - Market Research 

February 27 - 1:30 - 3:30 pm - Finding Distributors 

March 5 - 1:30 - 3:30 pm - Potpourri of Exporting Topics 

March 12 - skipped week, no session 

March 19 - 1:30 - 3:30 pm - International Financing and Credit 

March 26 - 1:30 - 3:30 pm - International Logistics 

April 2 - 1:30 - 3:30 pm - Go-To-Market 

April 9 - 1:30 - 5:00 pm - Export Growth Plan Presentations 

The program is jointly offered by the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership/ MEP National Network and the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), both part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Along with our federal partners, this program is also supported by the State of Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development Dept. of Economic Development and the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) Montpelier office

Questions regarding the ExporTech program? Contact Lisa Henderson, VMEC Director of Client Services, (802) 299-1456 or [email protected].

NOTE: In order to ensure VMEC is offering the best business improvement programs to Vermont manufacturers and justify continued U.S. Dept. of Commerce funding for these services, participants may be asked to provide impact data and assessment through an impartial 3rd party survey firm 6 – 12 months after a VMEC-hosted learning opportunity.