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New state of IL report shows CPT leads to high employment rates and higher salaries
Over the last several years, the State of IL, in conjunction with subject matter experts from the IL Dept of Employment Security (IDES) and IL State University (ISU),
has conducted a study of 400 MSSC CPT completers from 2012-2014. Just released, preliminary findings indicate a significant positive impact on job placement rates, employee retention, and earnings potential. 

In summary, job placement for MSSC CPT completers occurred almost immediately after training and both youth (under 25 years old) and non-youth (25 years old and over) showed significant earnings gains in the first two years of employment. Overall, MSSC CPT completers earned 14% higher than their non-certified counterparts. For youth, the jump was 40% in the first year and another 35% increase in year 2, showing that MSSC CPT completers are able to earn a significantly higher salary than those without the certification. 

Please click here for the full MSSC Presentation on Career Outcomes report.  

MSSC b olsters national leadership in defining mfg. skill standards
To prepare the 2017 edition of its national Production Standards, MSSC has recently strengthened both its National Experts Panel (NEP) for Manufacturing and its Certification Scheme Committee (CSC).  The rapid changes in manufacturing process technologies--which experts characterize as a new "Manufacturing 4.0" Era of Manufacturing-are requiring MSSC to deepen the bank of experts staffing both these committees. 

We have added over 55 industry subject matter experts to the NEP, for a total of 85. We have nominated Dr. Kathryn Manley, an eminent authority on assessments and certification, as the new Chair of the CSC, a committee required under ISO Standard 17024 (Personnel Certification), that oversees the work of the MSSC NEPs.  We have also added veteran industry experts to the CSC plus two highly experienced Board Members as Board Liaisons to the CSC:  Dr. Dean Bartles, an eminent authority on emerging manufacturing technologies, and Mary Batch, Toyota San Antonio, a pioneer in building summer internship programs for high school students who secure MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) credentials.

See for: (1) a current list of NEP and CSC members, (2) 2016 Edition of MSSC Standards, and (3) a history documenting MSSC's role, since 1998, as the nation's "Gold Standard" in defining industry skill standards for front-line production work in advanced manufacturing.  

This October, MSSC will release the 2017 Edition of its National Production Standards, which are the substantive foundation for MSSC's CPT training and testing program.    
Two new industry leaders join MSSC Board of Directors
On July 18, MSSC Board of Directors nominated and accepted two new board members.
Mr. Samuel E. BottumVice President and Chief Marketing Officer,  Snap-on Incorporated. Mr. Bottum  advances marketing, brand management, innovation, and customer connection efforts across the Company. He joined Snap-on Incorporated in 2011 as the General Manager of Innovation Works, collaborating across business units and customer groups on new product development, among other initiatives. Later as Director of Corporate Initiatives, his work focused on marketing, innovation, technical education, and targeted public policy interests for the Company. 

Dr. Dean Bartles, Ph. D., FSME, FASME, Director of the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of New Hampshire  recently completed his term as the 2016-2017 President of the Board of the North American Manufacturing Research Institute and as past President, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Dr. Bartles has had a distinguished 39-year professional career in manufacturing since graduating from college, implementing multi-million dollar programs domestically and internationally, and setting up manufacturing operations in Egypt, Turkey, and the US. 

Please click here to view for biographies for Samuel Bottum and Dr. Dean Bartles.

MSSC introduces "Skill Boss" to Board of Directors and Leadership Council at its annual meeting

On July 10, MSSC's Leadership Council met with the MSSC Board in Alexandria, Virginia for an annual briefing and presentation of best practices in topics including: State-Wide MSSC Programs, Dual Credit Programs, and Apprenticeships. 

At the meeting, Leo Reddy also announced the new CPT Plus certification, which will include Amatrol's innovative and transportable, "Skill Boss". The innovative Skill Boss device, designed to meet MSSC Standards, is a hands-on skill training and assessment system that integrates seamlessly into any manufacturing program and is required for CPT Plus certification. 

Paul  Perkins, CEO of Amatrol demonstrated Skill Boss to the Leadership Council and described the 60+ electronic, electrical, fluid power and mechanical systems skills that will be learned, practiced, and assessed on the hands-on trainer. These skills directly align with the 4 modules of MSSC's CPT certification. The CPT Plus complements the full CPT credential by providing employers with proof that an individual has the hands-on skills needed.

Mr. Reddy moderates CPT+ Skill Boss panel at NAM's Manufacturing Workforce 4.0 Symposium in DC
On July 11, the day after MSSC's Leadership Council meeting, MSSC CEO, Leo Reddy was invited to  moderate a panel of industry leaders talking about their perspective on the CPT+ Skill Boss at the  National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Institute's Workforce 4.0 Symposium on Skills For The New Economy.

The panel consisted of:  Ken Stuckey, Director of Talent Acquisition and Development,  Pace Industries ; Michael Packer, VP, Manufacturing Strategy & Technical Integration,  Lockheed Martin ; Don Gogan, Vice President, Operations Management,  Harley-Davidson ; Paul Perkins, President and CEO,  Amatrol Inc. ; Leo Reddy, CEO, MSSC.

Mr. Reddy introduced Skill Boss and CPT + and invited Paul Perkins, CEO of Amatrol to show the hands-on trainer's operations skills, adjustment skills, maintenance and hand tool skills. Don Gogan discussed the constant need for hands-on training and agreed that the #1 issue employees have is problem solving, so CPT+ Skill Boss will be a great enhancement to CPT. 

Mike Packer described relying heavily on  safety and quality and internally developing training for individual processes. He agreed that Skill Boss is great screening tool of candidates and provides  practical and integrative functions.
Ken Stucky discussed Skill Boss as an asset for small/medium manufacturing companies located in rural areas. Skill Boss would be great for delivering hands-on instruction to rural schools and will keep students' attention. Ken mentioned that local companies can donate Skill Boss to their area high schools and help create a direct pipeline to skilled maintenance jobs.

The panel ended with a Q&A.
MSSC release second edition of its Mfg & Logistics Certification Index
This week, MSSC released its second edition of the  MSSC M&L Certification IndexA data-based indicator of MSSC's certification intensity in both the manufacturing and logistics industries by states and within states, it is designed as a guide to assist companies and state economic development agencies in decisions about where to locate plants and distribution centers.

We will be updating this MSSC M&L Certification Index semi-annually, with the next issue due in January 2018.  If any of your economic development colleagues would like to get this and subsequent issues, they should contact Dina Igoe, MSSC Senior Marketing Manager, at or at tel. 703-739-9000, ext. 2226.  It is also available on MSSC's website ( ) under the "Reports" menu.


Major cuts being made to FY 2018 federal budget

On July 19, the House Appropriations Committee approved the draft for FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding Bill. The Bill has cut $5 billion of FY 2017 budget making it a total of $157 billion. House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghusyen showed his support for the bill, saying the bill will "cut spending and focus investments in programs our people need the most". 

While the bill increases the funding in areas including biomedical research and for combating opioid addiction, these increases are offset by "eliminating funding for programs that do not have a clear or effective Federal role".  The bill will cut funding for apprenticeship expansion by $96 million even after President Trump signed an executive order which prioritizes apprenticeships. State formula grants provided through Title on of WIOA have also been cut by $85 million or 3%. 

The Appropriations committee has maintained Perkins Funding at FY 2017 levels, keeping it at $1.125 billion. Although workforce development programs under the Department of Education have seen less reductions than other areas, the entire department faces about $2.4 billion in total cuts.
Please see the full bill here and the Appropriations Committee summary here.

President comes out strongly against H1-B visas
In April of this year, President Donald Trump ordered a full review of the country's high-skilled immigration visa program, part of a continued push to clamp down on companies, especially in the thigh tech industry  that hire foreigners instead of Americans.
In a forthcoming executive order, Trump will commission the Department of Homeland Security, which issues the long -used H-1B visa, to review the way they are rewarded. The agency is also instructed to suggest reforms so that visas only land in the hands of highly paid, specially skilled applicants, and not foreign workers who might be paid less than their U.S. counterparts.

Are apprenticeships the answer?
According to a recent Industry Week article, "Mr. Apprentice" himself, President Donald Trump, in recent months has very publicly announced his approval for boosting apprenticeship programs. He'd like to ramp up the number of apprenticeships in the United States from 500,000 to 5 million-a process that, at the current rate apprenticeships are growing, would take over 100 years. And he's promising money to back up his endorsement of the idea-with $200 million, to be exact, more than the $90 million the Obama administration allocated for the effort."

Please click here for the full Industry Week article.


MSSC partners with Conexus to train teachers in IN
MSSC and Conexus Indiana recently completed an intensive training program for 85 Indiana teachers to  help more high schoolers succeed in securing MSSC CPT credentials.

Conexus Indiana delivers MSSC Safety and Quality content through Hire Tech, a 2-year turn-key high school curriculum that offers students Ivy Tech Community College dual credits toward a degree following high school graduation, and national industry credentials that will help them enter an advanced manufacturing and logistics career after high school. 

Conexus Indiana's partnership with MSSC marks the first statewide implementation of MSSC Safety and MSSC Quality Practices and Measurement content for high school students. 

Please click here for the  MSSC Conexus Partnership Press Release.

MSSC touted as a "game changer" for the state of Alabama
According to a recent article in Daily Mountain Eagle, Gov. Kay Ivey kicked off a "Listen, Learn, Help and Lead" tour on July 22 in Jasper, AL at Bevill State Community College.

Al Moore, the dean of career technical education and workforce solutions at Bevill State, pointed out Manufacturing Skill Standards Council certification, which he said will be a game changer for the state, as he feels it will help prepare workers for automotive manufacturing. Production technicians may possibly be the first to be certified under such a program.

Please click here for the full  Daily Mountain Eagle article

Skill Boss Hands-On Trainer at Work!

Check out Skill Boss Hands-On trainer at work!
Check out this video of what Skill Boss can do!