FMA and NAM want 500,000 Manufacturing Credentials

  • March 17, 2014
  • News

March 17, 2014 - Today, The Manufacturing Institute and its partners in the Skills Certification System, including the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), announced significant progress toward achieving a five-year goal to award 500,000 industry-based certifications to individuals.  Over the past year, the certification partners have issued 117,189 certifications, an increase of over 30 percent, bringing the total to 294,478 certifications issued since 2011. With 80 percent of manufacturers citing a moderate to severe shortage of skilled workers, this is an important step in closing the skills gap and increasing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.   "In this highly competitive global market, our manufacturers' business success is tied directly to their ability to innovate, and the single most important factor in their innovation capacity is an educated and skilled workforce," said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. "Our solution, the Skills Certification System, helps address the skills gap directly affecting the workforce pipeline for manufacturers by aligning manufacturing education and training with industry standards."   In June 2011, at an event at Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama highlighted the Skills Certification System as a model for industry-based credentials and endorsed the Institute's goal of 500,000 certifications. The Institute continues to work with high schools, community and technical colleges, and employers to create education and training programs aligned to industry-based standards to establish an effective and critical talent pipeline.   "The shortage of qualified, skilled workers has a direct impact on manufacturers' bottom line," said Blake Moret, senior vice president of the Control Products and Solutions business at Rockwell Automation, and Chairman of The Manufacturing Institute's Board of Trustees. "The Skills Certification System is designed by and for industry, and endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers. They represent the skills manufacturers need in their talent pipeline."   Access to a highly skilled and educated workforce is the most critical element for innovation success. Increasingly, companies report they cannot find individuals with the skills required for today's advanced manufacturing workplaces. These skill shortages pervade all stages of manufacturing— from engineering to skilled production. This challenge will only grow as the demographics of our workforce drive "boomer" retirements and replacement requirements. More than 82 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers. More than 75 percent of manufacturers say the skill shortage has negatively impacted their ability to expand.   "FMA is committed to using its resources to develop relevant certification and certificate programs that have immediate impact in our member companies and the industry at large," said Edward Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association.  "We actively work with two-year community colleges and trade schools and support the movement to industry-approved credentials as a very viable solution to eliminate the skilled worker shortage."   The Manufacturing Institute launched the Skills Certification System to address the skills gap challenge and to promote a renaissance of manufacturing education across the country. The Skills Certification System is designed by and for industry, and endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers.   The Manufacturing Skills Certification System is managed by the Institute and the certification partners include: ACT, the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL), the American Welding Society (AWS), the Association for Operations Management (APICS), the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA), the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS), International Society of Automation (ISA), the Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI), the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA),the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), the Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Institute (PMMI), and SME. About FMA Based in Rockford, Ill., FMA is a professional organization with nearly 2,500 members working together to improve the metal fabricating and forming industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events, and the FABTECH® trade show. FMA also has two technology affiliates, the Tube & Pipe Association, International (TPA), which focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating and the Sustainable Manufacturer Network, a professional organization of individuals dedicated to working toward environmentally-friendly manufacturing.   About The Manufacturing Institute The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent.

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