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New Year's message from Leo Reddy, MSSC CEO
It is All about Change
The foundational vision of MSSC since its inception in 1998 has been to equip front-line workers with the core technical competencies and agility to keep pace with technological change .  This is what we mean by our motto, " Certifying the Industrial Athlete of the Future ."  Keeping pace is the guiding principle of our annual industry review of MSSC standards.  This is why, for example, we added several newly emerging technologies (e.g., 3-D Printing, Internet of Things, Mobile Internet, and Mechatronics) to the 2015 Edition of MSSC's National Production Standards.

In connection with technological change, we commend to our readers a new Industry Week article by David Gold, CEO, Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) that summarizes recent research on the impact of automation. (please view  MAPI article here). The essential finding is that automation does, indeed, disrupt and replace traditional work in most spheres, but typically creates new jobs, improves working conditions, and increases productivity. 

Thus, the main impact of automation is "change."  The pertinent quote from a McKinsey Global Institute report on automation last November: "In this era of rapid technological change, the smart approach is to keep track of the speed and direction of automation, understand the n eeds and re quirements to stay competitive." 
This "smart approach" remains a central goal of MSSC.  The MSSC Community appears to see this goal as a benefit, judging by our strong growth and increasing examples of innovative corporate uses of MSSC.   Please see items below on these two topics.  

MSSC "End-of-the-Year" report
MSSC, now an American institution, experienced continued strong growth in 2015 in the size of its nationwide infrastructure for delivering MSSC instructional materials and certification assessments.
As of the end of 2015, MSSC had at least one Assessment Center in  49  states and Washington, DC. MSSC trained  1,550  instructors, authorized  850  Assessment Centers, and delivered  115,000  Assessments and over  87,000  Credentials.

Please click here for MSSC End-of-the-Year Infrastructure Report for details.

Innovative corporate uses of MSSC 
A growing number of leading corporations are making use of MSSC in a variety of ways. These range from work within multi-company consortia, partnerships with community colleges, secondary schools, Workforce Investment Boards, in-house training, summer internship programs, and inner city youth initiatives.  

To illustrate these innovate uses, MSSC has prepared the Corporate MSSC Uses document, selecting eleven companies or corporate consortia:  AMTEC Auto Company Consortium, Bison Gear and Engineering, BMW, Caterpillar, Chrysler FCA, Cummins, GE, Harley-Davidson, Lockheed Martin, North Carolina Company Consortium, and Toyota.     
manufacturingPOLICY NEWS

President signs Every Student Succeeds Act, marking end to No Child Left Behind
A ccording to Education Weekly, this month's passage and signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) marks the first overhaul of the nation's main elementary and secondary education law since the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002. 

Before signing the legislation, Obama said the ESSA "builds on the reforms that have helped us make so much progress already."

"This bill upholds the core value that animated the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) signed by President Lyndon Johnson, the value that says education, the key to economic opportunity, is a civil right," Obama said.

He said that while the authors of the No Child Left Behind Act, the previous iteration of ESEA, were well-intentioned, "In practice it often fell short" and led to too much time spent on testing, among other problems. 

The new law coasted through Congress on a wave of bipartisan, bicameral support, and has been  enthusiastically embraced by teachers' unions, governors, state chiefs, and principals . It even got a  measured endorsement  from the civil rights community.

Please click here for the full Education Weekly article.

Four-year college isn't only path to career readiness
According to a recent USA Today article, "recent education reforms are making progress. But this will not solve the problem for young people who are not going to college immediately after high school. Now is the time for greater private and public focus on equipping young people, at all income levels, with the skills and experiences to be career-ready. Without this, a shot at the middle class will continue to be out of reach."

Universities must do more to support students of all backgrounds who arrive on their campuses. Nonetheless, to tackle youth unemployment and support the needs of today's economy, students and their families should be informed about all of their education options, including college and career pathways that don't consist of pursuing a four-year degree immediately. Students connected to high-quality training programs have a chance to find a way out of poverty and a real chance at economic opportunity."

Please click here for the full USA Today article.


GPS Education Partners in "Next Generation Career Pathways: A Manufacturing Study"
There are more than three million open skilled positions and twice as many disconnected young adults neither working nor in school.

In  Next Generation Career Pathways: A Manufacturing Case Study, authors assert that new market demands are shaping next generation career and technical education opportunities.
The rise of anywhere-anytime learning and competency-based approaches provides the opportunity for Career and Technical Education programs to lead the way in terms of applying blended, competency-based education in practical ways.

The paper addresses several key areas: (1)  Employability Gap (2)  Next Generation Career Technical Education (CTE), and (3)  Case Study: GPS Education Partners

GPS integrates MSSC CPT into its curriculum, which is offered to high schoolers within company training facilities where they complete their junior and senior years.  Serving 100+ business partners, GPS has a 90% full CPT certification and graduation rate, with 60% of graduates immediately entering the workforce, 35% pursuing post-secondary education and 5% entering military service. 

NTWB partners in TN establish CPT in high schools
The Northwest TN Workforce Board (NTWB) has embarked on several initiatives to meet the needs of local employers. One of the most successful programs has been the Tennessee Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) grant, which helps ensure that TN post-second ary institutions are producing the skills and credentials that area employers actually need. 

In August of 2014, LEAP grant funds allowed NTWB to introduce the  MSSC Certified Production Technician Program (CPT)  into 17 high schools in 11 counties in rural northwest TN. High school students completing the year-long (LEAP) program have the opportunity to graduate with an NCRC, a credential as a CPT, and up to 12 hours of community college credit or advanced standing in one of Tennessee's Colleges of Applied Technology.

When LEAP grant funds expire in December 2016, high school students enrolled in CPT Coursework will be offered dual enrollment courses or local dual credit courses through Dyersburg State Community College and local Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

Please click here for the full  NTWB Best Practice write-up.

Training for manufacturing jobs heats up at Rowan-Cabarrus CC in North Carolina
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has announced the recent graduation of the third class of Certified Production Technicians. Graduates with little-to-no prior manufacturing experience are securing employment through this no-cost eight-week training program, according to officials with RCCC.  In total, 22 of the program's 27 graduates have secured full-time employment.

The Certified Production Technician program is part of a larger effort called the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute, which aims to build a clear and achievable pathway for people to acquire skills in order to access good manufacturing jobs in our local community, as it is specifically designed to link and leverage the existing assets of Rowan and Cabarrus counties to solve a growing gap between regional job seekers and available positions.

Please click here for the full article.

Training technicians in Brevard County, FL through CPT
The second Brevard player working hard to build the skills that new business needs is our Economic Development Commission. Without special funding, the EDC has taken the initiative to bring to Brevard  Manufacturing Skills Standards Council's Certified Production Technician (CPT) program , a premier workforce certification platform.
Please click here for the full Florida Today article.

Multiple job skills programs offered to central Illinois residents
Decatur residents who wish to learn new skills used in manufacturing, logistics, and highway construction careers are encouraged to attend one of two separate programs scheduled to begin this winter.

The first program is being hosted by  Workforce Investment Solutions, and will focus on training unemployed and underemployed job seekers in skills used in manufacturing and logistics careers.  Officials say a combination of CDL, OSHA, and  Manufacturing Skills Standards Council industry-recognized certificates will be earned upon completion of this training.
Please click here for the full article.

Illinois community college program gains national CLA/CLT accreditation
Students at John Wood Community College in Adams County, IL are benefiting in the job market from new, national accreditations.  Both the Early Childhood Program and Logistics Program are making locally trained workers national contenders.

It took 18 months with five community colleges and Western Illinois University to gain the credentials through the state.  Those who enroll in Intro to Logistics gain two nationally recognized certifications and are workforce ready in two years.

"You take your CLA, which is your Certified Logistics Associates, and you have to pass that to get your Certified Logistics Technician certificate," Sophomore Lisa Snodgrass said.

Experts tell KHQA logistics is the second fastest growing industry with high demand in the Tri-States.  "If somebody is interested in computers, handling products, talking on the phone with customers, supply chain management and logistics gets into all those areas," Hetzler said.

Please click here for the full KHQA article. 

Bowling Green Area Chamber in KY receives Walmart Foundation grant for CPT
The Bowling Green Area Chamber received a $30,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to offer 128 hours of Certified Production Technician (CPT) training, one of the desired credentials identified by South Central Kentucky Manufacturing Industry Partnership.  Training will be taught by SKYCTC and administered through the Training Consortium of South Central Kentucky, a membership organization administered by the Chamber that provides high-quality and cost-effective training to regional companies.

During the training, participants will be trained on the Four Critical Production Functions Common to All Sectors of Manufacturing as defined by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC): quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production, maintenance awareness and safety.  At the end of the training, students will hold a nationally recognized certification that is widely preferred for manufacturing careers.

Please click here for the full article.

Oregon investing in next generation of blue collar workers
Oregon has tens of thousands of jobs in very traditional manufacturing areas . The challenge is that new workers don't appear to be all that interested in those kinds of jobs. We're projecting about   30 thousand growth and replacement jobs over the course of the next ten years. And there is no way that we're going to fill that through our traditional means.

Recent high school graduate Zac Clayville works on Vigor's Portland yard as a tool room attendant.  Zac learned about vigor through an after school program called pathways to manufacturing.

Please click here for the full  PBS article.
In This Issue
CEO's New Year's Message
MSSC Year-End Report
Corporate Uses of MSSC
ESSA Rewrite Signed by President
USA Today Feature on Career Readiness
GPS Ed Partners in Mfg. Study
CPT High School Program in TN
Mfg. Training in NC
CPT Training in FL
Job Skills Programs in IL
IL CLA/CLT Accreditation
KY Walmart Grant for CPT
OR Investing in Workforce
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