By Jennifer Erb
2017-06-262017-06-27https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Chad Schron grew up in a manufacturing family, so it was natural that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father to follow a career in manufacturing as an engineer. A native of Cleveland, Chad decided that he wanted to go away from home to pursue his college education. Chad visited WVU during his junior year in college and decided on the spot, that WVU was where he wanted to go to college.
Chad chose Industrial Engineering after hearing each department do its presentation. He liked the idea of a major that involved both engineering and business. Chad especially liked the project courses because he enjoyed working with others on practical problems.
When Chad graduated, he went to work for Moen in Cleveland. He was involved in new product teams. He was tasked with identifying ways teams could collaborate better with each other. The lack of collaboration resulted in each team using different components leading to excessive parts inventories. He developed a database that allowed each team to find common components for their designs. The result of Chad’s initiative was a substantial savings for Moen and a personal visit by the Group Vice President to congratulate Chad. This was the turning point in Chad’s career.
“I realized that the company gained a huge benefit from my work. While I got recognized, I thought that I would be better working for myself.”
While in college, Chad had built the ecommerce catalog for the family business. The site was very popular, but those buying the products needed more training in how to use the equipment. Chad added training modules to the site as well. These were very popular as well and employers wanted more content.
Chad formed Tooling U (www.toolingu.com) in 2001, two years after he had graduated from WVU. The goal of Tooling U was to create educational programs to address the skills gap in manufacturing. The success of Tooling U was almost immediate and investors helped provide the financial resources to grow the company.
Today Tooling U is used by half of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as trade schools and community colleges. Tooling U provides training to 300,000-400,000 students per year.
In 2010, Tooling U was purchased by SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers). Chad by his early 30s had the personal financial well-being of a successful exit. “But I like to work,” Chad says. He has stayed on with Tooling U as its Senior Director. “I really enjoy operations. I’m involved in all aspects of our business: marketing, product development, IT, finance, and legal.”
Chad was named one of Cleveland’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2008 and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2003 and 2004.
Chad Schron is the senior director for Tooling U-SME and the Co-founder of Tooling U. Chad grew up in manufacturing. He started his career working in his grandfather’s machine shop, Jergens Inc., and attended his first IMTS show before he graduated from high school. Chad developed the idea for an online manufacturing training school while working at Jergens to combat the manufacturing skills shortage. Today, Chad leads the talented Sales, Learning Services, Client Services, Technology, Content, and Operations teams for Tooling U – SME. Chad graduated in 1999 from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He was named one of Cleveland’s “Top 40 under 40” by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2008, and in 2003 & 2004 was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.