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April 2014 
News From MSSC

Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Wins 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Council Award

As a recipient of the 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Council Award, the MSSC has been distinguished for its work of increasing the number of skilled individuals entering the manufacturing workforce.  The Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Awards (ML Awards) honor companies, organizations and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing.

Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Nominated for Talented Workforce Initiative

The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) is one of the four national programs nominated for the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council's Talented Workforce Initiative.  The Talented Workforce Initiative was created to identify the most imaginative and effective solutions for building the region's pool of manufacturing talent.

Sylvia Wetzel Joins Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Board


Sylvia Salazar Wetzel has joined the MSSC Board of Directors.  Sylvia is Chief Learning Officer for Bison Gear and Engineering Corp., a manufacturer of electric motors, gear motors and reducers located in St. Charles, Illinois.

News From MSSC Community

Vote for Gateway Technical College

Gateway Technical College is one of 30 colleges from across the United States named as a finalist for an award recognizing leadership and innovation in the area of environmentalism and sustainability in higher education.


In addition to the Climate Leadership Award, Gateway is also competing against the other 29 college finalists in a national online video voting competition - and the winner will be decided by popular vote.  More than 50,000 voted last year, so we need your help.  You can vote once a day, every day, until April 15 at


The 2014 Climate Leadership Award is issued by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just and sustainable society by transforming higher education.  The awards, now in the fifth year, are an annual, national competition for colleges and universities that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).



Washburn Tech, manufacturers team up on job training: Mars opens first plant in 35 years in Topeka, Kansas

Washburn Institute of Technology and five Topeka companies have teamed up to train job seekers for hard-to-fill manufacturing positions.  Bimbo Bakeries, Del Monte, Frito-Lay, Hill's Pet Nutrition and Mars Chocolate collaborated with Washburn Tech and the Kansas Department of Commerce to develop a program to train certified production technicians for entry-level food manufacturing jobs.  The program goes beyond typical job training because the participants can meet with employers before they start and do job shadowing during their training.  Participants are guaranteed a job interview if they complete the program, though hiring is not guaranteed.


For Mars, it was important to hire people who fit the company culture, so many of the nearly 200 employees do not have experience in food manufacturing they include a former biology teacher, construction workers and someone who worked at Target.


Manufacturing Institute Announces Over 290,000 Certifications Issued Since 2011

Over the past year, the Manufacturing Institute certification partners have issued 117,189 certifications, an increase of over 30 percent, bringing the total to 294,478 certifications issued since 2011.  With 80 percent of manufacturers citing a moderate to severe shortage of skilled workers, this is an important step in closing the skills gap and increasing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.  It is also good progress towards the goal set by President Obama in June 2011 of 500,000 credentialed under the NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System by 2016.  MSSC is one of the five Founding Partners (along with ACT, NIMS, AWS and SME) of this System and a major contributor to this ambitious goal.  

Manufacturing and Logistics Matters

Overall spending on training jumps 15% in effort to stem skills gap, says study

Investment in employee development is rising, as employers strive to close a growing skills gap, a new survey found.  On average, overall spending on training was $1,169 per learner in 2013-a 15 percent jump from the previous year, according to "The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014: Benchmarks, Trends, and Analysis of the U.S. Training Market," a study by Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting, LLP (


"Training, development funds key elements in DOL 2015 budget, says Sec. Perez."

The 2015 DOL budget request works to ensure that Americans have the skills they need for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow, and protects the health, safety and retirement savings of workers.  The budget supports reforms to improve training and employment programs to help workers gain skills and return to work more quickly.  It proposes to streamline access to federal job training programs, more fully engage employers to ensure training is directed at ready-to-fill-jobs in the marketplace and improve the efficiency and employment outcomes of the department's programs.  The budget proposes the creation of the New Careers Pathways program, which would provide job assistance to a million Americans and combine the best features of the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers program and the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Workers program.


WSJ Article: Higher Ed's Illusions - Academics think their students are prepared for the workforce.

For years, polling data has shown that Americans hold the U.S. Congress in low esteem, with the Members' approval often sinking into the teens.  So guess which American institution is on course to join them?  It is our colleges and universities.  Congress at least admits it is doing a poor job.  The colleges do not. The article describes the enormous gap between what education is providing and what employers are actually seeking as the "vast disconnect."

New Opportunity

Soft Skills' ... a.k.a "Employability Skills", "Life Survival Skills", 'Workplace Literacy Skills', 'Job Readiness Skills', 'Basic Interpersonal Skills' etc.


MSSC customers and partners often ask if MSSC provides or knows of a truly effective e-Learning course - similar to the MSSC Logistics Series -- that teaches the above described 'Soft-Skills'. 


The answer is YES ... The Quality Group's WinAt-Work Series.


MSSC knows a lot about The Quality Group (TQG).  In fact, TQG is MSSC's e-Learning platform and development partner for our Logistics Series.  If you want an innovative, cost-effective and breakthrough way to teach, engage and inspire learners in your 'Soft-Skills' training process ... then we highly recommend TQG and WinAt-Work.


One of your WIB Executive colleagues - Laurie Larrea, President of Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas -- is already experiencing great success with WinAt-Work.  As of this writing, nearly 2,000 students have completed the entire 4-module series (Interviewing, Good Work Habits, Getting Along with Others, and Getting Ahead).  Over 92% agree, "I would recommend the training to others" (and over 70% of them "Agree strongly!")


To discover WinAt-Work, see a Demo, and experience Module Samples, CLICK HERE.  

To review a write-up on the WFS Dallas experience with WinAt-Work,


To learn about how your WIB might preview, pilot and perhaps begin using WinAt-Work in your community, please contact either MSSC's Rebekah Hutton rhutton@msscusa.orgor Carol Dierdorff at The Quality Group,; 678.244.5393.


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New MSSC Blog

We are excited to announce the launch of the MSSC Blog! You will be able to find the most up to date information in regards to manufacturing, distribution, instructor resources, veterans, job searching tools for students, and much more from the MSSC point of view. Postings will be categorized by the following per day:

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Ollie Sullivan

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Sherri Works

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Instructor's Corner

Scott Covert

Penn United


Scott Covert joined Penn United Technologies in 1990 as a Journeyman Precision Tool Grinder.  Although his expertise is in Surface and Contour Grinding, he has had prior experience in Heat Treating, Hardness Testing, and Electro-Plating.  In 2005, he was chosen for a leadership position and promoted to Team Leader for our Precision Assembly department, which serves medical and electronic component assembly.  In his Team Leader position, Scott was responsible for development and improvement of assembly processes and procedures utilizing Lean Manufacturing, scheduling employees work hours, scheduling production & shipping of product & inventory, and training of team members in shop procedures & measurement/inspection equipment.


Sam Deckich

Community Learning Center, Inc. - Fort Worth


Scott brings to the classroom 25 years of experience in surface grinding, center bed, and contour grinding but most importantly, he brings his enthusiasm for metalworking.  He has continued to show a love of learning and teaching others about this industry by serving as a part-time Instructor at L.I.G.H.T. and a tour guide of our Penn United facilities for high school students interested in manufacturing.  Scott has furthered his education outside of work as well by earning his diploma in CNC Programming.  He has also completed the Machine Tool Technology Certificate program, and the CNC Programming Technology Certificate program both at BC3.  Scott is also a Certified Instructor for the Manufacturing Skill Standard's Certified Production Technician
(CLT) program and a certified forklift trainer.


Sam Deckich began working for CLC Inc. in March 2006 as a Training and Employment Counselor and now serves as a Program Lead managing the Aerospace Training Programs in Aircraft Assembly and Composite Bonding as well as the Machining, Welding, United Way Adult Literacy and Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician and Certified Logistics Technician Training Programs.


Mr. Deckich began his career at Motorola, Inc. where he worked for 24 years as a Senior Circuit Board Designer and Supervisor.  Mr. Deckich created and designed high-density circuit board designs, blueprints, auto insertion programs, specifications as well as held, other positions at Motorola, Inc. including manufacturing and inspections.  Mr. Deckich began working at Lockheed Martin located in Fort Worth, TX in 2003 as an Aircraft Assembler Class "A" for 3 years specializing in the F16 Fighting Falcon and the F22 Raptor Programs.


Mr. Deckich served as President of the Recreation Committee for 20 years and served as an active member of the Emergency Response Team for 15 years.