Original Press Release
Strategic Alliance will Strengthen and Support Canadian Manufacturing
Press release date: June 19, 2007
DEARBORN, Mich., June 19, 2007 - The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) have developed an alliance to strengthen the competitive skills, knowledge and innovation capabilities of the Canadian manufacturing community through joint efforts in membership development, event planning, professional and workforce development activities and programs. This alliance brings a full complement of resources to Canadian manufacturers, both from the overall company perspective as well as at the individual practitioner level. CME supports manufacturing companies in developing long-term visions for Canadian manufacturing, while helping them address challenges in a rapidly growing global market. As an individual member-based professional society, SME works with companies and individuals to strengthen manufacturing workforce competency through educational resources, training, certification, and professional networking. Together, the organizations will collaborate on joint membership packages, industry events, workforce development initiatives, and creating awareness with the public that manufacturing is a critical part of the economy and a rewarding career choice.
F. Brian Holmes, CMfgE, SME President, is enthusiastic about this alliance. "I am very excited about the Memorandum of Understanding between SME and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. It will enable both associations to work together to enhance the capabilities of the Canadian manufacturing workforce. I look forward to the opportunities the alliance brings, because both organizations are looking for the same result: a stronger manufacturing sector through technology and education of the current and future workforce." Holmes is Vice President of Operations at Columbia Plastics in Surrey, British Columbia. His company is a great example of one that can benefit greatly by the teaming of SME and CME. Columbia Plastics is a member company of CME, and active supporter of employee involvement in SME. By engaging in dialogues with other manufacturing companies and practitioners via CME and SME, companies like Columbia Plastics will be served more effectively at multiple levels with resources for their companies' long-term strategic planning, lean manufacturing implementation, technical and professional certification needs, as well as opportunities for networking with other like-minded manufacturers.
"Canada's manufacturers face unprecedented challenges resulting from the high dollar, growing competition from low-wage countries, skills shortages, and a border that continues to get more sticky, costly and thick," says CME President and CEO Perrin Beatty. "Manufacturing is a vital part of our country's economy, and it is essential that our manufacturers be armed with the tools they need to compete successfully in world markets. Our new partnership will supply some of those tools and help to strengthen Canada's industrial base."
Mark C. Tomlinson, CEM, CMfgT, Executive Director & General Manager of SME expressed that, "Despite the negative press, manufacturing is still a vital part of the North American economy. Addressing workforce development needs and technology transfer are key to the success and viability of manufacturing. The CME-SME collaboration will play a critical role in bringing resources to manufacturers." The alliance with CME is part of SME's larger initiative to bring manufacturing education and workforce development resources deeper into Canada, supporting the underserved manufacturing communities throughout the nation. To support this initiative, SME acquired seven manufacturing trade shows in Canada, including the Western Manufacturing Technology Show and Weld Expo, which runs from June 19-21 in Edmonton.
The CME-SME alliance will contribute toward ensuring that Canadian manufacturers are recognized as a world-leading benchmark for their innovation, flexibility, and continuous improvement. Both organizations look forward to further exciting announcements in the coming months.
About SME: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (www.sme.org) is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2007, has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide, including 16 chapters in Canada.
About CME: Canadian Exporters & Manufacturers (www.cme-mec.ca) is Canada's largest trade and industry association. CME promotes the continuous improvement of Canadian manufacturing and exporting through engagement of government at all levels. Its mandate is to promote the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and enable the success of Canadian goods and services exporters in markets around the world. Representing Canada's largest business network, CME's membership is drawn from all sectors of Canada's manufacturing and exporting community and from every province across the country. The association represents Canada's leading global enterprises and more than 85% of CME's members are small and medium-sized enterprises. Together, CME's membership accounts for an estimated 75% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports.