Help on the way: NAM skills certification system to help new and transitioning workers prepare for good jobs

The National Association of Manufacturers is endorsing a revolutionary new approach to certification and credentials that will "help workers succeed in high-quality, middle class jobs."
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff March 7, 2009

The National Association of Manufacturers ( NAM ) and The Manufacturing Institute announce a new NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System that “will revolutionize education and training for the 21st century manufacturing workforce,” says NAM President and CEO John Engler.

“At a time when millions of Americans face unemployment, manufacturing jobs with excellent salaries—and across all skill levels and sectors—are unfilled because of the lack of qualified applicants,” Engler says. “These tough economic times call for clear pathways to skills in demand to help new and transitioning workers prepare for good manufacturing jobs. Our education system isn’t adequately preparing the next generation of workers. We must do a better job aligning education and training to the needs of employers and job seekers. Today, NAM is endorsing a revolutionary new approach to certification and credentials that will help workers succeed in high-quality, middle class jobs.”

The NAM system initially will focus on the core skills required for entry-level workers in all sectors of manufacturing—from alternative energy and computers to aerospace and life-saving pharmaceuticals. The core skills include:

• Personal effectiveness competencies such as willingness to learn and dependability;

• Academic competencies such as applied science and presentation skills;

• Workplace competencies such as teamwork and applied technology; and

• Industrywide technical competencies such as supply chain logistics and health & safety.

The new system of skills certifications maps to both career pathways across the manufacturing economy and to educational pathways in postsecondary education. These pathways will be deployed through community colleges to provide students and transitioning workers with industry-recognized skills certifications that are educational credentials with real value in the workplace.

“Employers can be confident that individuals who earn National Career Readiness Certificates will have the core foundational skills to begin successful career paths in the manufacturing industry,” says Richard Ferguson, CEO of ACT, a founding partner in the NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. “The certificate is valuable as a common standard of measurement for assessing the foundational skills and training needs of workers transitioning from other occupations.”

Click here for more information about the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System.

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