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Industry-recognized national certifications have potential to close "skills gap" in manufacturing and logistics 
In a December 2016 op ed in Modern Materials Handling, MSSC CEO Leo Reddy explains the unique capacity of national industry certifications to close the skills gap.  They are the central strategy that manufacturers themselves have used consistently for many years to communicate their skills needs to the education community. 

MSSC  itself started in 1998 when, acting as the Voluntary Partnership for Manufacturing under the National Skill Standards Act, it created a large coalition of some 700 companies, 4,000 front-line workers, 15 national trade associations, and 400 CTE organizations to develop industry-wide core technical skill standards and related certifications for front-line work in advanced manufacturing and supply chain logistics. Approved officially by the federal Skill Standards Board in 2001, those standards, which MSSC updates annually, formed the substantive foundation for the MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) training and certification programs.

The nation's manufacturers have continued this strategy ever since. In 2009, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) created a NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System with ACT, MSSC, NIMS, AWS and SME as its Founding Partners.  The combined certifications created by these and other NAM-endorsed certifications enabled these organizations collectively to beat by more than six months the five-year goal set by President Obama in June 2011 of 500,000 manufacturing certifications.  
In 2014, a NAM Board-level Task Force Report on "Overcoming the Manufacturing Skills Gap" called upon the nation's manufacturers to "speak with one voice" by using national standards and certifications as their way to communicate with the nation's schools. The report specifically recommended that manufacturers use MSSC CPT to engage with the nation's secondary schools.  One of the results of this industry focus on industry-recognized certifications is the increasingly rapid use of them in the nation's secondary and postsecondary schools,  As reported below, NAM has continued this long-term, industry-driven strategy by giving top priority to NAM-endorsed recognized credentials in its workforce policy recommendations to the incoming Trump Administration.  Enhanced support for these well-established national certifications at both the private and public levels is the surest pathway to closing the skills gap.    
Please click here for the full Modern Materials Handling article.

NAM advocates industry-recognized certifications to next administration
The National Association of Manufacturers has issued a comprehensive set of recommendations to the incoming Administration on ways to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.   They are contained in a document entitled, "Competing to Win: Manufacturers Agenda for Economic Growth and American Exceptionalism."  Of special interest to the MSSC Community, NAM continues its long-term advocacy for industry-recognized certifications that NAM has endorsed, which includes MSSC CPT and CLT.   

The report's specific "actions for leaders to take" in the workforce part of the NAM agenda are as follows: (a) Promote the use of industry-recognized credentials awarded at the secondary and postsecondary levels; (b) Encourage industry partnerships to better align curriculum and apprenticeship, internship and work-based learning opportunities; and (c) Support efforts to better articulate credit transfers from high schools to community colleges and from community colleges to four-year institutions. 

Please click here for the full NAM Report.

MSSC Board offers guidelines to assure quality of industry-recognized certifications
The foregoing Pew Research report on the growing importance of technical certificates to the general public underlines the importance of criteria for assessing the quality of the growing proliferation of so-called "industry credentials." Given MSSC's nearly 20 years of experience as one of the most vetted national certification bodies, the MSSC Board distributed a set of "guidelines" for federal and state agencies last October to evaluate the quality of "industry-recognized certifications." These guidelines, while more detailed, have the same basic structure as do those used by the Department of Defense for selecting civilian credentials for use with active duty military personnel.
These requirements are essentially that the certification has to be (1) accredited by a nationally-recognized third-party accreditation body (e.g, NCCA or ANSI); (2) represent an entire industry, industry sector or major occupation and be nationally portable; or (3) endorsed by a leading national industry association. These criteria would apply only to well-known industry national certifications such as MSSC CPT, AWS, NIMS, SME (manufacturing); ASE (auto service), NCCER (construction); CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco (IT); quality control (ASQ); supply chain management (APICS, IMS), distribution-logistics (MSSC CLT).
Please click here for the MSSC-suggested Board QA Guidelines.

New data shows high wage gains for MSSC CPT Certificants
Under a Certification Data Project funded by the U.S. Department of Education through ACTE, the Illinois Community College Board just completed a study of the impact of the MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) Certification on wages of individuals. 

The study showed that annual wages one year after securing CPT certification were 63% higher ($29,824) than for those with similar jobs but without CPT ($18916).

Please click here for the full  ICCB report.

Surging public support for technical certificates in education
Public awareness and support for attainment of professional, technical certificates in the nation's is growing.

In October, Pew Research and the Markle Foundation published a survey of 5,000 Americans which included a question about the value of different levels of formal education in preparing for a nicely paying job in today's economy. 58% replied "well" or "somewhat well" to a two-year degree, 67% selected a four-year degree, and 78% a "professional/technical certificate."

Please click here for the full Pew Study on the state of American jobs.


Recommended New Year's reading: "The Coming Revolution of American Manufacturing"
MSSC recommends that readers of the "MSSC Community Update" kick off 2017 with an outstanding-and succinct--report that adds real substance to the hope that the nation can "bring back Made in America." Mark Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, CEO of the Digital Power Group and renowned tech strategist, released a study," The Coming Revolution of American Manufacturing" in December. 
In just 12 pages, Mr. Mills summarizes the large role of manufacturing in the U.S. economy (closer to 30% than the oft-cited 12%), its multiplier effect (greater than any other economic sector), and, most importantly, the wide range of new technologies that will introduce a radical "revolution" in the means of production leading to unprecedented levels of productivity and innovation.

In the workforce arena, he reports that the skills gap is deepening, with a dramatic rise of more than 20% over the past five years in the number of companies reporting a shortage in skilled trades.   The new technologies and tools that will power the coming revolution in American manufacturing "will require greater numbers of men and women with the training to work in the skilled trades necessary to fabricate, maintain, and operate the machines of the future."  
Please click here for the full Manhattan Institute article.

New National Skills Coalition study supports skills-based E&T

A new study finds that skills and credentials are crucial to helping SNAP participants move to self-sufficiency. The SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Best Practices Study concludes that programs that emphasize postsecondary education and training responsive to the labor market have a better chance of improving the employment and earnings prospects of participants.

States looking to establish skills-based SNAP E&T policies can use a new policy toolkit released by NSC last month. Read more about the study and the toolkit over on the National Skills Coalition blog

Washington Post article on importance of keeping pace with technology
According to the October 28, 2016 Washington Post article posted on the NACFAM Weekly website, it is getting harder and harder to find a job. The article concludes that the most important requirement is for the U.S. workforce keep pace with tech change.  

"New evidence says there might be another reason for these stubborn spells of low employment: After a recession, the remaining job openings may become harder to fill because employers start to demand people with better skills, who can adapt to new technologies in order to be more productive."

By C ertifying the Industrial Athlete of the Future, MSSC keeps pace with technological change which is reflected in yearly updates to our production and logistics standards.   

Please click here for the full  Washington Post  article.


MSSC CEO Visits New Advanced Manufacturing Center at Houston CC
In December, MSSC CEO Leo Reddy visited the state-of-the-art Center of Excellence, Advanced Manufacturing, at Houston Community College. Mr. Reddy is seen here in the Center's additive manufacturing training facility observing the computer imaging of a model part to prepare it for 3-D printer production.

The Center supports both student and incumbent worker training needs, through partnerships with MSSC and the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS). Houston is one of top manufacturing cities in the country, with over 10,000 manufacturers who employ more than a quarter of a million skilled workers in the production of plastics, rubber, metals, medical devices, valve, fitting, steel products and petrochemicals.

For more information, please visit Center of Excellence website.

January 2017 MSSC Students of the Month
Congratulations to  Justyn Bowes, Christopher Baker, and  Mark Kowalski on being selected as MSSC's January 2017 Students of the Month!  These students graduated from the Nature Coast Technical High School Suncoast Technical Education Center in Brooksville, FL (2015-2016 graduating class), and continue to work at the AMSkills training center in Hernando county. 

Justyn earned his MSSC Certified Production Technician industry certification through this course.  While still in high school, Justyn enrolled in the American Manufacturing Skills Initiative (AMSkills) at the local Hernando County training site where he continues to train in manufacturing technologies.  Through AMSkills, Justyn has been sponsored by a local manufacturer - Accuform Signs - where he is currently employed.  During Justyn's senior year at Nature Coast Technical High School, he also earned the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) Apprentice Drafter - Mechanical industry certification.

stopher earned his MSSC Certified Production Technician industry certification through this course.  While still in high school, Christopher enrolled in the American Manufacturing Skills Initiative (AMSkills) at the local Hernando County training site where he continues to train in manufacturing technologies.  Through AMSkills, Christopher has been sponsored by a local manufacturer - PharmaWorks Inc - where he is currently employed.  Christopher is also enrolled at Pasco-Hernando State College where he continues academic coursework.

Mark earned his MSSC Certified Production Technician industry certification through this course.  While still in high school, Mark enrolled in the American Manufacturing Skills Initiative (AMSkills) at the local Hernando County training site where he continues to train in manufacturing technologies.  Mark works two jobs while enrolled at Pasco-Hernando State College where he continues academic coursework.

State College of Florida offering manufacturing course
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota , is offering a certification program for production technicians through its partnership with the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council.

Online classes will be held from 6-10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Dec. 20-Feb. 23. The course consists of five modules and four assessments and costs $899, which includes registration, books, test codes and facilitation.  Those who successfully complete the class earn their MSSC Certified Production Technician certification.

Please click here for the full Bradenton Herald article.

Read more here:
MI CC expands workforce development office and partners with MSSC
Workforce Development Office at St. Clair County Community College is expanding. The goal is to help companies stay competitive with customized training for their employees. Having a strong work force is not only good for business; it is crucial to the Blue Water Area.

SC4 also offers a testing center on campus with certified staff that proctor industry standard certification exams. SC4 partnered with Pearson VUE,  Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, Castle, Certiport, Certified Internet Webmaster, EMPCO (testing services for public safety and municipal government agencies) and WorkKeys (Workplace Readiness Skill Assessment). The testing center adheres to the National Testing Association guidelines and proctors over 6,800 tests per year.

Please click here for full  The Times Herald article.
MSSC Code of Good Conduct Poster Available to Order!!!

We are glad to share with you, the NEW  MSSC Code of Good Conduct Poster!

Developed on the basis of typical company codes of conduct and validated by subject matter experts from 60 companies.  The poster on high-quality poster stock paper may be purchased for $30 (plus $10.00 shipping). Volume discounts are also available for orders of 100 or more. 

If you are interested in purchasing the poster, please contact Catherine Feeney at

If you are an existing MSSC assessment center and have an ordering account with us, you can NOW add the poster directly into your cart.