First Step Act Update & MSSC Correctional ProgramsJuly1

It is reported that more than 2,200 federal inmates will be reunited with their families this month as a result of the "First Step Act." This bipartisan prison reform bill was signed into law last year by President Trump to reform our criminal justice system and to help inmates successfully transition back into society.

Following this bill is also the release of the "Second Chance Act," which supports state and local organizations in their work to provide services to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prison facilities. Services include for example, technical training skills.

We would like to take this time to recognize the 76 MSSC Centers, correctional facilities, and those that partner with local organizations that are providing opportunities to inmates who are earning our credential while still incarcerated or are in a re-entry program. See our latest report by clicking this link. To learn more about the First Step Act or Second Chance Act follow the links.
ACT Ready for Work Podcast Interview- Manufacturing Career Pathways with Guest Neil Reddy July2

We were honored to have our CEO, Neil Reddy, be featured on the ACT Ready for Work Podcast with host, Jasen Jones. In this episode Neil shares how MSSC blazed the trail and created the gold standard for manufacturing skills. From career pathways to stackable credentials. Follow this link for full episode.

Heroes Make America Launches New Site at Fort Bragg, NCJuly3

The Heroes Make America (HMA) program run by the National Association of Manufacturers' Manufacturing Institute launched its third site this year at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Their first cohort graduated a class of eight soldiers on June 14 with students receiving multiple certifications - including the four modules of the MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification. Additionally, this was the first HMA cohort nationwide to be assessed on the related hands-on CPT skills using the "Skill Boss" device. The students received their CPT certification AND the CPT+, which designates their achievement of competency in those vital hands-on skills necessary in the workplace.

HMA runs training programs for soldiers who are in their transition from military service to civilian life and provides opportunities for them to receive certifications in Forklift, CPT, CPT+, OSHA10 and other soft skill/transition support. Throughout the program, soldiers also meet with employers, go on facility tours and complete resumes and interviewing skills, so that upon graduation they have a head start (and sometimes a job offer) for their civilian life.

HMA is growing nationally - there are two additional sites being launched this year: Fort Benning in Georgia (CPT) and Fort Campbell in Kentucky (mechatronics). For more information on how to connect with soldier graduates and/or support the HMA program, please visit the Manufacturing Institute website.

Community News
SkillsUSA RecapJuly4

Last month SkillsUSA hosted the 55th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, KY aimed to showcase the very best in career and technical education. From robotics and automation technology to cosmetology and restaurant services, the conference brings together more than 6,500 students from across the nation to compete in 103 hands-on skills and leadership contests.

The MSSC Marketing Team attended the conference as exhibitors of the SkillsUSA Techspo along with 120+ companies and 15,000+ attendees involved with workforce development. MSSC displayed the new CPT+ Skill Boss hands-on training and assessment device previously launched at the 43rd annual SkillsUSA Techspo. Amatrol Inc., also in attendance, helped promote the Skill Boss device by providing live demos to students and teachers at the conference. At the Techspo, MSSC had the opportunity not only to speak to educators about the importance of industry-recognized credentials, but also to connect with current MSSC instructors to hear more about their success in helping advance their students' career pathways. To see more about the CPT+ Skill Boss, check out this video!

Alabama Community College System Wins Big With New MSSC Programs, Mazda-Toyota Plant, and Data AdoptionJuly5

Launching MSSC certifications takes the efforts of a community to lead students from a certification in their hand to a lucrative career in manufacturing or supply chain logistics. How does a community come together to achieve these goals? A perfect example is shared by Jeff Lynn, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development at the Alabama Community College System in the latest article in Emsi.

Lynn's journey into using MSSC as a state-wide certification system includes approval for a new $21M advanced manufacturing training center in Mobile, winning Alabama's bid for Mazda-Toyota's new automobile manufacturing plant, and presenting data at legislative sessions and workforce board meetings in such a way that secured funding and encouraged board members to likewise use data in order to prosper their communities. Also, incorporating MSSC credentials in the classroom from the start.

Click the link for the full article and to learn more about how you can set and achieve your workforce development goals in your community using MSSC. 
From Student to Instructor- Meet Derek Harvey, CPT Instructor, Cumberland County CollegeJuly6

Many graduates from MSSC Certification programs usually pursue higher education or jump right into the workforce. Others may see an opportunity to pursue another path. Hear CPT Instructor, Derek Harvey's, story on how he went from a student to an instructor after earning the MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) Certification.

Prior to earning the CPT Certification, Derek had recently lost his job working construction. He had bought a house, recently got married, and was raising his first child. While picking up jobs at various manufacturing plants and distribution centers he realized he needed more income to support his growing family. That is when he decided to enroll in the CPT Certification program and advance his skills.

While he was going through the class, Derek took the initiative to help his fellow classmate's by spending extra time to make sure they understood the content and he didn't stop there. He also went back to school to study engineering. He said that, "acting as a mentor encouraged him and gave him confidence in his own skills."

Derek was not the only one who saw his potential in the classroom. Soon after he completed the CPT course and earned his CPT Certification, he was hired as a teaching assistant and eventually became a full-time CPT Instructor at Rowan College of Gloucester County. Derek said, "the CPT class changed my life completely," and now he has the opportunity to help do the same for others. Since becoming an Instructor, Derek has taught 50 students the CPT program.

Policy & Trends
Nondegree credentials improve economic mobility July7

New research from credentialing advocates Strada and Lumina offers early evidence that short-term, nondegree certificates and other credentials can have a positive impact on an individual's economic mobility. Respondents with nondegree credentials said they are more likely to recommend them to others, and a majority (60%) said they believe the educational experience will bring employers value, compared with 44% of non-credential holders who said the same.  Click here for the full article
Congress Hoping to Bolster US Advanced  Manufacturing July8

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Chris Coons (D-DE) announced a new bipartisan bill whose intent is to increase America's global competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. The Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing Act would expand the Manufacturing USA institutes, a national network of 14 public-private partnership institutes with 1,300-member companies and institutions working to keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing.
Expanded College Scorecard Released by Secretary DeVosJuly9

Secretary DeVos announced changes to the College Scorecard, an online interactive tool that allows users to gather information on the cost and certain outcomes of higher education institutions. New information can now be accessed through the College Scorecard, such as: Data on 2,100 non-degree granting institutions; Graduation rates and transfer information for non-first-time and non-full-time students; Up-to-date metrics from the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; and Preliminary student loan debt data by field of study. See online tool here.
New Report on the Condition of Education in the United StatesJuly10

The National Center for Education Statistics released The Condition of Education 2019 today (May 22), a congressionally mandated report that summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. This year's report includes special findings from recent surveys of outcomes in postsecondary education. The full report can be accessed via this link
60% of Companies Plan Warehouse Automation to Ease Labor WoesJuly11

Automation will enhance worker performance rather than replace workers as 61% of companies will enable partial automation or labor augmentation with technology in the warehouse. To keep up with the growth of an on-demand economy, 87% of companies report that they are currently in the process of or planning to expand the size of their warehouses by 2024, according to a new study by Zebra Technologies.
Grant Funding Resources
Department of Labor, Employment and Training Office announces grant on Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC):  A Grant Initiative for the Appalachian and Delta Regions. Grant #FOA-ETA-19-08. Closing date: 07/15/2019.  Available funds for demonstration grant projects supporting alignment of workforce development with existing strategies and plans for economic development and diversification in rural communities from the following areas hard hit by economic transition and recovering slowly: 1.) The Appalachian region, as defined in 40 U.S.C. 14102(a)(1), and 2.)  The Lower Mississippi Delta (Delta) region. Follow this link for more information.Juy12
National Science Foundation: Advanced Technological Education. Closing date: October 3, 2019. With an emphasis on two-year Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions (grades 7-12, IHEs) and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary institution school levels. The program invites research proposals that advance the knowledge base related to technician education. For more information, click here.    July13
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