Community Update
March 2022
MSSC Updates
“Next Generation Workforce Certification: Innovative Tools for Educating and Upskilling Supply Chain Automation Technicians,” Webinar Recap with Amatrol & NCATC
The National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC), Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) & Amatrol hosted an engaging webinar discussion last month on, “Next Generation Workforce Certification: Innovative Tools for Educating and Upskilling Supply Chain Automation Technicians.”
Our organizations hopes that the details shared on the launch of the MSSC Certified Technician-Supply Chain Automation (CT-SCA) certification and the Skill Boss Logistics device provided attendees a vision of the tools necessary to build a pipeline of much-needed automation technicians for distribution, fulfillment centers and warehousing operations to keep-up with e-commerce demands and technology.
To request a recording, please contact Catherine Feeney, Senior Marketing Director, MSSC at [email protected]. To learn more about how to offer the CT-SCA training and certification program with the Skill Boss Logistics device to your students or incumbent workforce contact your local MSSC Training Solution Provider in your state. If you are interested in becoming a NCATC member, please contact J. Craig McAtee, CEO & Executive Director, [email protected]
Community News
Skillpoint Alliance Working to Fill Employment Gaps

As a booming major manufacturing hub, the Austin, Texas metro area is seeing an exponential growth in demand for a skilled workforce. Equipped with MSSC’s Certified Production Technician (CPT) 4.0 curriculum, Skillpoint Alliance is working closely with local industry partners to provide a talent pipeline that’s on par with industry standards and requirements, while also providing their graduates a career path that offers better pay, benefits and upward mobility.

With Skillpoint’s manufacturing program designed to ensure the success of all their students, including those with very limited prior knowledge of the manufacturing industry, Skillpoint is steadily seeing an expansion of their student base – with their last CPT 4.0 class, one third of the students were female, the largest percentage of women they’ve ever had. According to Skillpoint Alliance Program Director Kevin Brackmeyer, this expansion also includes an influx of veterans as well as those looking to make a career switch. He highlights that his program’s staff works closely with all applicants throughout the admissions process to ensure they understand class expectations and aware of career opportunities in the advanced manufacturing industry, while also providing wraparound support services to facilitate student success.

Brackmeyer underscores the importance of collaborating with industry partners to continuously improve and update Skillpoint’s training programs, and employers even participate in Skillpoint’s mentor program–giving class presentations, providing site tours of their facilities and attending class graduations to meet students and speak to them about job opportunities. Having these face-to-face conversations with industry leaders, says Brackmeyer, helps students recognize the importance of the manufacturing industry and aids them in their new career discovery. “Our local employers and their continued commitment to hiring Skillpoint Alliance CPT program graduates is the best metric we have to know that our students are prepared to enter the manufacturing workforce,” says Brackmeyer.
Welcome to the MSSC Community!

Below are the centers that have joined since January 2022 our network of over 1,900+ MSSC Authorized Assessment Centers across the nation that share the common goal of preparing front-line technicians for in-demand, higher wage, higher skill jobs in advanced manufacturing and supply chain logistics!

  • New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy- New Orleans, LA
  • Oakland Community College- Akron, OH
  • Fall Creek High School- Fall Creek, WI
  • Bob Jones High School- Madison, AL
  • Bridgeport Group, LLC- Cleveland, OH
  • Cleburne ISD- Cleburne, TX
  • Ivy Tech Community College- Plainfield, IN
  • Ohio University- Lancaster, OH
  • Piercetek, LLC- Vineland, NJ
  • WestLift, LLC- Goldsboro, NC
Policy & Trends
“Invest in America. Educate America. Grow the Workforce.” - President Biden Lays out his Support for the “Revitalization of American Manufacturing” in First SOTU Address

In his March 1st State of the Union (SOTU) Address - his first since taking office last January - President Joe Biden emphasized the importance of investing in American manufacturing and supporting the workforce that props up the industry, while highlighting the growth that is already budding across the nation, such as Intel’s new $20 billion semiconductor “mega site” in Ohio and the billions of dollars invested by both Ford and GM in electric vehicle production that will result in thousands of new jobs.

In acknowledging that many companies have already made the proactive choice to build new domestic factories, he placed a call on further companies to follow suit as to strengthen America’s infrastructure and innovation, and ultimately lead to a higher growth of jobs where “you can earn a good living.” Additionally, he urged Congress to increase support towards Pell Grants and to what First Lady Jill Biden calls America’s best-kept secret: community colleges. MSSC’s full report on President Biden’s SOTU Address can be found here
The “Great Redirection” Sees Rise of Interest in Skilled Trade Training and Education
The aftereffects of the “Great Resignation” have been felt by companies across all industry sectors, and national media coverage has done justice displaying the scope of the trend and how it’s affecting businesses’ ability to fill certain positions. But perhaps the “Great Redirection” might be a more fitting title for the proactive choices many workers have chosen concerning their career path.

As covered recently by WBUR of Boston, there has been a spike of many office workers transitioning to careers in the skilled trades, and data from the National Student Clearinghouse show a sharp drop in enrollment in liberal arts and many other majors, while two-year construction programs saw an increase. The WBUR article provides samples of how individuals are choosing to forge a change to their what-was-once-linear career path, and how this might be a generation change that continues past the point of the pandemic ending.
Workforce Talent Ranked as Top Decisive Factor When Evaluating a Location’s Business-Friendly Climate – New Report by Site Selection Magazine

According to a survey done late last year by Site Selection Magazine, an area’s workforce talent pool is the most important criteria that business executives consider when evaluating a location for a new site. The magazine’s 2021 report acknowledged North Carolina as the state with the top business-friendly climate, and according to North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Sanders, her state takes a highly strategic approach when it comes to developing their workforce talent ‑ the topic was a large component of their Strategic Economic Development Plan released last July. “Other [states] might focus on recruitment strategies and incentives and other things that are important to us, but this one is focused on preparing our communities, our businesses and our people for sustainable success, which will come through talent development,” Sanders said.

Other top factors acknowledged in the survey include a state’s transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, and their workforce development. Following North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, and Indiana rounded out the top 5 states with a business-friendly climate according to the magazine. 
While Reshoring is Great for Job Numbers, Now is Also the Time to Address the Widening Skills Gap

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic laying bare the United States’ reliance on oversea production, the nation is in the midst of an industry-wide trend of companies reshoring their operations. According to an article by the Reshoring Initiative Founder Harry Moser in Assembly Magazine, “manufacturing jobs created by reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) for 2021 are projected to exceed 220,000—38 percent above an excellent 2020 and, by far, the highest yearly number recorded to date.” However, Moser notes that there is a widening gap between the skills needed by industry and the skills of job candidates, with the two leading causes of the skills gap being the “lack of recruits” and the “pace of innovation.”

Moser believes that in order to improve the perception of manufacturing and attract more young workers, the industry needs to show that modern manufacturing is a high-skilled, high-tech, high-paying, stable career choice. Moser also places emphasis on companies needing to adapt to new emerging Industry 4.0 technologies so as to boost competitiveness, improve efficiencies, and close the labor cost gap. While citing a global survey that revealed 57 percent of manufacturing leaders believe their organization lacks skilled workers to support digitization initiatives, Moser highlights that manufacturers will need skilled workers for new collar jobs to fully realize the potential of such innovative investments.
With Sourcing Options Widened by Reshoring Efforts, Some Companies are Taking the Opportunity to Sever China Ties

During the midst of this national reshoring megatrend, some leading companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Nike, HP, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Intel and Alphabet, are severing some of their ties to China. According to the Reshoring Initiative, such companies are leaving China for a myriad of reasons, including supply chain difficulties, censorship, U.S. tariffs on imports, security issues and ethical concerns regarding the mistreatment of Muslim Uyghurs. This report by the Initiative expands upon those driving factors, and also provides a case study that examines how an apparel company American Giant doubled down on their local manufacturing effort during the pandemic and how it paid off for them
Senate HELP Committee Holds Workforce Development Hearing
On February 15, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to examine workforce development policies and related strategies collectively aimed at helping workers find and obtain family-sustaining employment. The hearing focused particularly on individuals with barriers to employment and the value and impact wraparound support services–like childcare, transportation, and career navigation supports–have in helping workers overcome these existing challenges. 

During the question and answer portion of the hearing, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) highlighted his and Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) ongoing sponsorship of the JOBS Act– legislation that, if enacted, would provide Pell Grants for high-quality, shorter-term training programs at postsecondary institutions to more effectively support workers and learners. Advance CTE has long supported this legislation and continues to call for its enactment by Congress this year.

A video archive of the hearing, including related written testimony, can be found via the official Senate website.
State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review

On February 10, Advance CTE and ACTE released the ninth annual State Policies Impacting CTE: Year in Review report and 2021 State Policy Tracking Tool, examining 2021 state legislation, executive orders and budget provisions that significantly impact CTE and career readiness. This year's report provides an analysis spanning across 41 states that enacted 138 policies relevant to CTE. Read more here.
New Resource Highlights How States Use American Rescue Plan Funds to Reengage Students through Career and Technical Education

The U.S. Department of Education released a new fact sheet highlighting ways states and school districts are using American Rescue Plan funds to reengage students and enhance academic learning by expanding career and technical education (CTE) opportunities. As schools help students address lost instructional time, high-quality CTE programs can be a powerful tool to boost school engagement and on-time graduation.
More Tech Jobs Reported in East Coast, Inland States
East Coast states such as New York and Virginia, as well as inland states such as Tennessee, Colorado and Illinois, are seeing a boom in tech job openings, a recent Conference Board study revealed. Forty-three percent of tech job postings are in locations outside of the West Coast, up from 30% in early 2019. Visit the Protocol website to view the full story.
DOL Announces Apprenticeship Building America Program, $133M in available funds to strengthen and modernize registered apprenticeships
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a grant program to strengthen, modernize, expand and diversify its Registered Apprenticeship Program to enable more workers to earn while they learn and find reliable pathways to the middle class. Up to $50M designated for equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities.
US DOL Seeks Nominations for Member of Workforce Information Advisory Council
The U.S. Department of Labor invites interested parties to submit nominations for individuals to serve on the federal Workforce Information Advisory Council and announces the procedures for those nominations. The WIAC is an advisory committee of workforce and labor market information experts representing a broad range of national, state and local data and information users and producers. The council provides recommendations to the Secretary of Labor, working jointly through the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training and the Commissioner of Labor Statistics. Currently, there is a vacant position on the WIAC representing businesses.
Resources & Events
Upcoming Conferences

  • Coalition for Career Development Center Summit, May 17-18th

  • MSSC Annual Joint Board-Leadership Council Meeting, June 21st

  • MSSC Executive Briefing, August 24th