An update on the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package

I recently sat down with Oboe Wu, the product manager who
has been overseeing the deployment of the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package (ESP) to discuss the results. You may recall that we previewed this at
SolidWorks World in Orlando. It was subsequently deployed in North
America, Europe, and parts of Asia. The goal was to provide engineers who had
lost their jobs an opportunity–for free–to develop the next generation of
skills that would land them a new career at a SolidWorks customer site.

The results that Oboe shared with me are staggering, and a
sobering comment on the health of our market right now. The fast facts:

  • Over 24,000 download requests
  • More than 60,000 visits to the ESP website
  • Over 150 newly certified CSWAs.

There was also an encouraging sign. In a recent survey of
users we learned that 10.6% of the ESP participants had secured a new job. And
this reached across geopolitical borders: 14 different languages were
downloaded in ten countries around the world. The largest group
of participants was 2D-centric engineers who had lost their jobs, and were
looking for greater opportunity.

So those are the facts. But, as they say, behind each number
is a personal story of frustration, hope, and, ultimately, triumph. I recently
attended a SolidWorks User Group
meeting in California and joined a dozen engineers at a table for some pizza
before the event. I did not identify myself, just saying I was "with SolidWorks."
One diner reached across the table and shook my hand, saying "please thank
the people who made the ESP possible…I was laid off and saw no real hope for
my future. I learned the new skills and am now actively pursuing several jobs
that were never available to me before." While we discussed his
experience, several customers offered to take his resume back to their
companies and circulate it.

The real stars in this are the SolidWorks resellers. They
are the ones who opened up their training facilities and instructors at no cost
to the participants and have worked hard to arm the attendees with the skills
they need to succeed.

To all of you: thank you for putting your trust in us in the
past. We hope we can continue to find ways to pay back that investment you have
made. I don't know how long we'll be in this recession, or how deep it will go.
But I believe in the power of the human spirit to grow and reach up–and