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February 2014 
News From MSSC
Opportunity for All: Ready to Work
Currently, federal dollars support a myriad of training programs, such as workforce development, youth development, adult education, public assistance, vocational rehab and community colleges. Most dollars flow through state and local government agencies, which in turn contract with providers who serve the actual clients.

During his 2014 State of the Union speech, President Obama said in that Vice President Biden would lead an effort to overhaul federal training programs with the goal of ensuring U.S. workers have the skills needed by today's employers. 

As part of the overall review process led by Vice President Biden, on January 31, 2014 President Obama signed, Presidential Memorandum -- Job-Driven Training for Workers.  Per this memorandum, Vice President Biden has been charged with developing a specific action plan to make the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated and effective.

Click here to read the Presidential Memorandum -- Job-Driven Training for Workers.

To learn more about the 2014 Budget proposals that impact workforce training dollars click here.


Measuring Alternative Educational Credentials: 2012

This is the first federal report on the nationwide number of individuals with this alternative recognition.  The report finds that over 46 million Americans have "Professional Certifications and Licenses," with over 19 million having "Educational Certificates."   The is good news for the OCTAE effort to increase the foundational math, English, computer and problem-solving skills of adults to help them more readily prepare for these widely available alternative credentials.  In this connection, see MSSC "Community Alert," dated January 17, 2014, encouraging members of the MSSC Community to convene local engagements to provide feedback to OCTAE as it builds a "national plan" to increase support for this foundational education.


To read MSSC Community Alert, click here.

Click here to read report


 Gallup Poll: Business Leaders Say Knowledge Trumps College Pedigree

Business leaders say that the managers responsible for making hiring decisions are far less concerned with where job candidates earn their degrees, or even the type of degree itself, than they are with what knowledge and skills a candidate brings to the table. Continue reading . . 


Business leaders have doubts that higher education institutions in the U.S. are graduating students who meet their particular businesses' needs. More than one-third of business leaders agree with the statement "higher education institutions in this country are graduating students with the skills and competences that my business needs."  Continue reading . . .


From the MSSC perspective, this is a further argument for schools to integrate industry certifications into their for-credit curriculum.  This approach gives students the best option:  both an academic degree and an industry-recognized national certification.


News From MSSC Community
Goodwin College and Pratt & Whitney - United Technologies Celebrate Success of Manufacturing Initiative
On January 18, 2014 Goodwin College honored their first cohort of students to complete the Certified Production Technician (CPT) program, and thanked Pratt & Whitney - United Technologies for its generous investment of  $125,000 donation aimed at helping the College grow the CPT program and strengthen Connecticut's manufacturing workforce pipeline.  Goodwin launched the initiative in May 2013, becoming the first college in New England to offer a path toward a national and portable credential through MSSC.

MSSC at Work

With over 12.5 million jobs represented in frontline advanced manufacturing and logistics (M&L), MSSC certifications are helping create and maintain the pipeline of higher skilled workers in these two closely interrelated industries.  We are pleased to highlight several partners who have developed effective solutions to building their region's pool of manufacturing talent. 


Click below to read more about each program and the community they serve.


Funding Opportunities

$150 Million for Ready to Work Partnerships Leading to Employment of Long-Term Unemployed

On February 19, the Department of Labor announced a $150 million grant competition called Ready to Work, which will support partnerships between employers, nonprofit organizations and the public workforce system in order to assist workers experiencing long-term unemployment to gain access to employment services.  DOL anticipates awarding 20-30 grants ranging from $3 million to $10 million to employment programs that use on-the-job training, paid work experience, paid internships and registered apprenticeships.  Qualified programs must recruit from those who have been out of the workforce for at least six months.  A user fee that is paid by employers that use the H-1B visa program to bring foreign workers to the U.S. funds the grants. 

 Training to Work - Adult Reentry program

On February 18, the Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $30 million through the second round of the Training to Work - Adult Reentry competitive grant program.  The purpose of the grant is to help men and women participating in state or local prison work-release programs gain the job skills necessary to succeed in an in-demand occupation upon reintegrating back into society.


The department will award approximately $30 million for 15 grants of up to $2 million each.  Grants will be awarded to implementing partners that provide qualifying services in areas with high-poverty and high-crime rates, including communities that have a large proportion of returning citizens that typically experience higher rates of recidivism.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will give additional consideration to applications who intend to serve areas designated as "Promise Zones."

American Association Community College's (AACC) Center for Workforce and Economic Development: Job Ready, Willing and Able 

AACC's overall goal through the Walmart Foundation funded Job Ready, Willing, Able (JRWA) Initiative is to provide unemployed students and community members with middle skill training in new and existing industries, empower them with industry-recognized credentials, and place them in employment opportunities that advance the long-term health and stability of the community.  Community college leaders involved in the JRWA Initiative will be able to connect with others on economic development initiatives that depart from traditional solutions and strategies. 

Manufacturing and Logistics Matters

ESA Report: New Manufacturing Jobs Have Above Averages Wages, Benefits

 The Economics and Statistics Administration recently released a new report, The Earnings of New Hires in Manufacturing, which considers the average wages and benefits of recently created manufacturing jobs.  Between 2007 and 2010, employment in manufacturing across the country took a significant hit.  However, since the first quarter of 2010, manufacturing employment has been on the rise again.  This report looks at whether the jobs created since 2010 have lived up to previous conceptions about manufacturing jobs being "good jobs."  It finds that new hires in manufacturing earn a premium of 38 percent over non-manufacturing jobs created over the same time. 


Click here to read ESA  report.


Analysis of U.S. Manufacturing Finds Significant Challenges for the Sector

A recently released report by the Brookings Institute, U.S. Manufacturing: Understanding Its Past and Its Potential Future, finds that while the growth of manufacturing output has remained at or above GDP over the last half century, despite a steep decline in manufacturing employment, that the high output measures are primarily due to one particular segment of the manufacturing sector: computers and electronics.  The 90 percent of manufacturing that is not in the computer and electronics industry has experienced significant declines in its share of GDP, with low productivity growth.  The report also considers the manufacturing sector's falling share of total U.S. employment and trade deficit, and concludes that there is a need for changes in public policy to support the manufacturing sector, including upping exports though trade agreements to open foreign markets, reducing the corporate tax rate, improving workforce skills, and fixing currently deteriorating infrastructure.


Click here to read Brookings Institute Analysis.


Joint Economic Committee Report: Manufacturing Jobs for the Future

Between 2010 and 2013, employment in manufacturing has increased by 554,000 jobs.  Even with the recent progress manufacturing employment still remains below 1979 levels, the sector needs to add 1.7 million jobs to return to pre-recession levels.  With a workforce aging faster than other segments of the economy means that the demand for new talent will be increasingly important.  This study examines the employment trends across manufacturing industries during the recession and recovery, as well as the growing role of exports.  It also describes policy options to address challenges facing the sector and lay groundwork for future gains.


Click here to read JEC report. 

Upcoming Event

Register NOW!



April 8, 2014

Sheraton Crystal City Hotel

Arlington, VA


Conference theme -- "The Impact of Disruptive Technologies on U.S. Manufacturers."


Luncheon Speaker 

 Jerry Jasinowski, retired NAM President


Confirmed Speakers

Bruce Quinn, Rockwell Automation

Ed Morris, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII)

Erik Nieves, Yaskawa Motoman Robotics

Michael Toscano, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International 


Registration Fee: $445


To register please contact form Fred Wentzel at 202-367-1247 or



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Editor's Note

      February is Career and Technical Education Month


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one-third of the fastest growing occupations will require an associate's degree or a postsecondary vocational certificate. 


CTE encompasses 94 percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students in the United States.  A robust and successful plan that addresses the US skills gap must include CTE is a major part of the solution.  The increasing high school dropout rates can be stymied if parents and students were told the truth about CTE programs.


CTE students experience the connection between what they learn and what a future career demands.  CTE coursework requires an understanding of core academics applied in relevant; real-world applications that prepares students for the future regardless of their plans after high school, i.e. the workforce, military and or college (two or four year).  CTE programs ensure students are adequately prepared for high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers.


Join MSSC in celebrating the extraordinary achievements and contributions of CTE educators and students.  


Click here to learn what your Governor said in his/her State of the State Address about CTE.

Instructor's Corner

Bruce R. Dickson

CPT Instructor

Jefferson Community and Technical College   


Bruce Dickson brings over 30 years of experience during his management career, leading production and operational efforts in high-paced manufacturing environments. He has worked directly with Delphi Automotive, Inland Fisher Guide, General Motors, John Deere, General Electric, Honda and Toyota. Bruce has held progressively demanding, decision making positions as Director of Operations and Plant Manager for Hoffco/Comet Industries in Richmond, Indiana. Plant Manager, Superintendent and Quality Assurance Manager with Ernie Green Industries in Dayton, Ohio. Director of Transportation with Fram Automotive in Greenville, Ohio.


Over many years, Bruce has owned a number of different companies, including a Real Estate Investment Company in Muncie, Indiana, a Nursery and Landscape Design business in Louisville, Kentucky, a Catering and Food Service business in Monroe, Ohio and a Dog Walking business in Alexandria, Virginia.


Bruce attended Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio graduating with a dual major in Business Administration and Speech & Theatre. After retiring from the world of manufacturing in 2005, he attended Midwest Culinary Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio studying Culinary Arts. Bruce is a an MSSC Authorized CPT Trainer and is currently teaching the CPT curriculum at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, Kentucky.


Bruce has a strong background in corporate training initiatives with growth oriented companies and ands on experience in designing, developing and conducting internal and external audits. He has extensive knowledge in JIT, TQM, Lean Manufacturing, Kaizen, ISO 9001/2000/14001 and OSHA.

As a seasoned management professional, Bruce leverages passion, leadership skills and technical expertise to create real business value for organizations. He is an Eagle Scout, loves sports and resides in Clarksville, Indiana with his wife Debbie.


Jennifer Jones

CLT Instructor

Easter Seals TriState


After spending most of the nineties as an auto mechanic with Saturn and the Michel Tire Company, Jennifer left the automotive industry to take on a new challenge-working with people with disabilities and disadvantages at

Easter Seals TriState in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Fifteen years later, she has held roles from job coaching, to hardware and software instruction, to prepping high school students for construction certifications.  In 2011, she helped to develop Easter Seals TriState's manufacturing certification programs, which take a unique approach:  associates in the program attend class for four hours a day and then work for four hours a day in one of Easter Seals TriState's packaging and fulfillment centers.  Associates kit, QA, and ship over 40,000 medical testing kits domestically and internationally each month, working side by side with adults with disabilities in a truly diverse workplace.


Because many of the students are new to manufacturing and logistics, the classroom is a blend of online coursework, team activities on topics such as constructive criticism, workplace communication or completing a JSA, and textbook content on inventory control or production processes.  This system works well for the indiv

iduals in the program, many of whom have never seen a micrometer before, much less used one.  They then apply that learning-almost instantly, to on-the-job training so they can both earn and learn. 


"I've taught everything from violin lessons, to papermaking, to how to milk a cow, and I think I've finally found my niche-- I love that we can give students paid, on-the-job training while they learn, and that our graduates can use the MSSC certifications to document that they have the skills and competencies employers are asking for.  To have a student who has struggled with poverty and low academics and connect them with a good job where they're earning more than I am-it's a great feeling."