Obama embraces the Manufacturing Institute NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System

HerpelOn June 8, President Obama announced the goal of credentialing 500,000 community college students with skills certifications aligned to manufacturers’ hiring needs.

One of the initiatives Obama believes is a pathway to reach this goal is the  NAM Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.

This system is currently being piloted in Northeast Ohio through a Gates Foundation grant that was awarded to the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute.  MAGNET has been working with Lorain County Community College to implement the certification system in Northeast Ohio and with the Ohio Board of Regents and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to pilot it in other regions of the state.

The system supports the integration of nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials into high school, community college, and university programs of study. NAM has partnered with ACT, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the American Welding Society, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council in this endeavor.

Once again, the need and demand for a skilled workforce makes the headlines and once again the mismatch between the unemployed and underemployed and what our manufacturing employers require are brought to the forefront.

Recently, this quandary was highlighted in Manpower’s annual global survey revealing that one third of employers worldwide can’t find the talent that they need despite the availability of workers.

The top ten hardest jobs to fill include: technicians (1), skilled trades workers (3), engineers (4), laborers, (5) and production operators (9).  In addition, a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce  predicts that there will be a shortage of 3 million high-skills workers by 2018 and that two thirds of those jobs will require at least some post-secondary education.

Now is the time to act, to come together, to roll up our sleeves. Northeast Ohio, the state and our nation have the opportunity to maintain and some may argue regain our dominance in the advanced manufacturing and engineering industries.  Innovation is one key piece, but without a skilled workforce it will be for naught.  Our leaders, our employers and our educators are listening.  We can’t let this chance slip by.

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Posted by MAGNET Ohio in Workforce-Development, Workforce-Training

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