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             January 2015

 MSSC End of the Year Report

MSSC experienced continued strong growth in 2014, with a 34% increase in the size of its nationwide infrastructure for delivering MSSC instructional materials and certification assessments. As of the end of 2014, MSSC had at least one Assessment Center in 43 states, Washington, DC and 2 international. Statewide MSSC Infrastructure (those with at least 7 Assessment Centers is now in 20 states). MSSC trained 1,320 instructors, authorized 730 Assessment Centers, and delivered 89,170 Assessments and 69,040 Credentials.

Please view MSSC End of the Year Report for details.

MSSC AnnouncementsAnnouncements

MSSCC Joins U.S. Department of Labor's Registered Apprenticeship Program for the First Time


In November 2014, DOL announced a new "Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT)" Apprenticeship which is based upon the MSSC concept of an agile advanced manufacturing worker. IMT is also included in a new federal $100 million grant for apprenticeships, for which the MSSC is now seeking partners. See "Federal Programs" section below for details and MSSC contact info.

MSSC Joins the National Networknetwork


MSSC is a new member of the National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network) established in late 2013, which leverages the work of organizations that share a common challenge: finding skilled talent to fill open jobs. Its membership represents the primary sectors of the U.S. economy which are the source of nearly 75% of projected job growth by 2020 (an estimated 30 million new jobs). 

With support from multiple foundations, the ACT Foundation and the Business Roundtable have established the National Network to permanently align learning with solid employment opportunities and life success. The National Network is giving top priority to the importance of industry skill standards and industry-recognized, nationally portable certifications.  Membership includes leaders in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation, business, and information technology sectors.


Please click here for more information.

taff Additionsstaff


In early 2015, two new staff members joined the MSSC Team. Both Ms. Davila and Ms. Igoe are looking forward to connecting with the MSSC Community and helping MSSC grow and expand its mission. 

Ms. Raquel Davila, Senior Program Manager, was born in Uruguay and has been a long-time DC resident. Ms. Davila worked for APICS for the past 18 years as the Senior Manager of Certification Operations where she dealt with international partners and candidates from 45+ countries.



Ms. Dina Igoe, Senior Marketing Manager, is a native of Boston and came to MSSC with an entrepreneurial retail background as well as a ten-year tenure in project management and business development. Ms. Igoe is also the editor and contact for all MSSC Community updates and alerts.




Please click here for our full staff list.


MSSC New Office Locationoffice


MSSC has expanded operations to our new office space. Please take note of our new address 901 N. Washington Street, Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314. All other contact information will remain the same. We welcome visits from all members of the MSSC Community.




Federal Policyfederal

whitehouseWhite House Announces Free Community College Promise Proposal

The White House announces America's College Promise Proposal: Tuition-Free Community College for Responsible Students. The proposal would make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, or industry credentials needed in the workforce. The program would be undertaken in partnership with states and is inspired by new programs in Tennessee and Chicago.

In addition, on January 9, 2015, the President proposed a new American Technical Training Fund to expand innovative, high-quality technical training programs that meet employer needs and help prepare more Americans for better paying jobs.  This fund will award programs that have strong employer partnerships and include work-based learning opportunities, provide accelerated training, and are scheduled to accommodate part-time work. Programs could be created within current community colleges or other training institutions. 

The President wants the federal government to pay for the creation of 100 new job centers around the country to "help high-potential, low-wage workers gain the skills to work into growing fields with significant numbers of middle-class jobs that local employers are trying to fill," the White House said in a fact sheet, "such as energy, IT and advanced manufacturing."


joebidenJoe Biden's "What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence" Report Documents Positive Impact of Industry Credentials on Worker Pay

On January 30, 2014, President Barack Obama directed Vice President Joseph Biden to lead a Government-wide review of Federal programs in the workforce and training system to ensure they are designed to equip the nation's workers with skills matching the needs of employers looking to hire. The review culminated in an action plan issued by the Vice President in July 2014, which gave highest priority to industry-recognized certifications and apprenticeship programs to make the system more job-driven, integrated, and effective. The report found that post-secondary education, particularly a degree or industry-recognized credential related to jobs in demand, is the most important determinant of differences in workers' lifetime earnings and incomes.

The research foundation for that report was a detailed evaluation by four federal agencies, the Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, Department of Education, and Department of Health and Human Services, of the most important determinants of worker's lifetime earnings and incomes. That evaluation gave highest priority to "post-secondary education, particularly a degree or industry-recognized credential related to jobs in demand."


Please click here for a full report

State Policystate

statelegislatorsState Legislatures Continue to Increase Support for Industry-Recognized Credentials


In 2014 alone, more than 15 states passed laws or launched initiatives that focused on increasing attainment of industry-recognized credentials. These are summarized in this brief prepared by the Association of Career-tech Education (ACTE) and National Association of State Directors for Career-tech Education (NASDCTE).


Given MSSC's close tracking of this encouraging trend, the National Conference of State Legislatures invited MSSC to form a panel on this subject at the annual NCSL conference in DC on December 11, 2014. Panelists at this well-attended discussion were Kim Green, Executive Director, NASDCTE; Catherine Imperatore, Chief Researcher, ACTE; Jennifer McNelly, President, The Manufacturing Institute; and Leo Reddy, Chair and CEO, MSSC.

Please click here to view the complete NCSL brief.



brookingsBrookings Finds States and Cities Responsible for Driving Economic Growth

According to the Brookings Institution, "voters said unequivocally in this year's midterm elections that economic growth and quality jobs are their top concerns...So responsibility for action on those issues that most concern voters now shifts to the states (where 36 governors were just elected or re-elected) and to the cities and metro areas within them that drive the nation's economy." 

As Brookings also states, many employers report difficulty filling even the lowest-level advanced-skill jobs. States can fix this by creating apprenticeship and workforce-development programs. The recently created the Tennessee Labor Education Alignment Program helps coordinate skills training with available employment, and the state has devoted $10 million to a Skills Gap Grant that will award funding to regions that develop plans for addressing shortcomings in local skills.

Please click here to view the article What States Need...



modelModel Apprenticeship Approved by US Department of Labor that Includes MSSC


US DOL has announced the certification of National Guideline Apprenticeship Standards based upon PMMI's industrial maintenance and mechatronics exams and standards. A lot of interest is being focused these days on apprenticeships and internships, as the US seeks to address the skills gap for manufacturing and as the federal government puts emphasis on job-ready certification programs.


Furthermore, in its November 21, 2014 bulletin, DOL approved the Registered Apprenticeship Program sponsored by the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) and the State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAA) to register an entry level Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT), who would, "operate industrial production related equipment, work with manufacturing related tools, and perform work processes related to a wide variety of manufacturing settings." For the first time, MSSC, the gold standard for the foundational competencies of advanced manufacturing production will be a direct player in this apprenticeship program.

Specifically, the 3,000 hour IMT apprenticeship will include a 264-hour "Related Instruction" section, 160 hours of which are used for training in MSSC's four CPT modules.      

Please click here for the IMT Bulletin, the IMT Work Process Schedule, and the IMT Related Instruction.


AAIDOL Funds $100 Million American Apprenticeship Initiative

On Dec. 11, 2014, DOL released the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) funded at $100 million to focus on helping more employers and workers participate in American Apprenticeships within industries and occupations for which employers are using H-1B visas to hire foreign workers such as, Information Technology, and/or other high-growth industries including but not limited to Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, and Healthcare; and the types of high-demand skill sets now required across most industries."

It is important to note that the key focus of the AAI is on employers training incumbent workers while on the job, so it is critical for the MSSC community college and WIB partners to reach out to their industry leaders with this opportunity.

Please click here to view the AAI Funding Brief detailing eligibility and submission requirements for this grant proposal and the link to the full solicitation. MSSC is seeking partners in this funding opportunity through the new IMT Apprenticeship. For further info, contact Dina Igoe, Senior Marketing Manager at


skillsMaking Skills Everyone's Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the Unites States

The US Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) presented a brief guide as a preview to its longer August 2014 report, to detail a year-long review of the performance and outcomes of state adult education practices, reforms, consultations with peers in other nations, and literature review to inform the understanding that, because skills matter to so many quality-of-life issues, raising American skill levels will require everyone's commitment. This guide provides seven high-level strategies including improving foundational skills and increasing the return of investment in skills training that communities, public and private entities, and all levels of government, can adopt to achieve a collective impact.

Please click here to review the full report 



credential MSSC Credential Recommended by Indiana CTE Providers


Indiana CTE providers look to offer credentials that are recognized by employers regionally, statewide, nationally and internationally when possible. Students are better served when a credential is broadly recognized. Among the credentials students in northeast Indiana are earning: American Welding Society (AWS) certification; National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certification; Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) student certification; Serve Safe certification; Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) licensure; and Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC). 

Please click here for a full article


academiesManufacturing Academies Coming to Region's Schools to Help Students Earn CPT and College Credit

According to the Panama City News Herald, Rutherford High School students will soon have the tools to earn a manufacturing industry standard certification upon graduation (CPT). Rutherford, and several other schools in the region, will launch a new manufacturing academy next year thanks to a push from the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council, a 60-member group with a goal to strengthen the competitiveness of the region's manufacturing industry.

Using $1.5 million in funding dedicated by state lawmakers, the council plans to initiate manufacturing academies at schools in Bay, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. The academies will be stocked with Amatrol training equipment and offer four levels of automation and production courses at the high school level.


The new academy will ultimately prepare students to take MSSC's industry certification test, which provides the ability to enter the workforce or seek further skills training or further education upon graduation. Passing the Certified Production Technician (CPT) exam, set forth by MSSC, will equate to 15 earned college credit hours.


Please click here for the full article


certificatesBanner Year for Blue River Career Programs using MSSC Certificates


The 2014-15 school year has been one of positive results thus far for Blue River Career Programs, according to Director, Steve Shaw. Specifically, this is the second year Blue River Career Programs is a member of an initiative with Duke Energy called Education to Industry. The program is aimed at addressing the shortage of qualified candidates for careers in the manufacturing industries located in Shelby County. The program is designed for juniors and seniors attending Blue River Career Program's Academy of Advanced Manufacturing and those students will also earn Manufacturing Skill Standards Council certifications that will be valuable when they seek a job.

"We are working with local industry for employment and apprentice programs. Our goal is to prepare students for good careers that pay well," Shaw said.

Please click here for the full article

surveyPrime Advantage Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey Shows Lack of Qualified Workers as Top Concern of Manufacturers


Prime Advantage, a buying group for manufacturing firms, has conducted as seven-year survey of its 750-plus members. The latest Prime Advantage Purchasing and Manufacturing (PM) Survey conducted in August, 2014, showed that 50% of manufacturing company members expected to make new hires in the last half of the year. This hiring trend has steadily improved over the past five years. However, this survey also showed that the top barrier to growth is the lack of qualified workers (see chart below).

The top growth barrier for small and midsized industrial manufacturers in 2014 is access to qualified workers, according to the 2014 Prime Advantage Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey. 

A career in manufacturing may not be top of mind for those entering the workforce. Visions of dirty facilities and monotonous work reminiscent of old world manufacturing may come to mind. In reality, today's manufacturing environment is vastly different. Technological advancements, process improvements, and a focus on value-added services have transformed the sector.

Fortunately, a number of manufacturers, trade schools, and economic development partnerships throughout the US have recognized this issue and started taking steps to overcome these misconceptions about careers in manufacturing.

Please click here for the full article Manufacturers Use Ingenuity to Overcome Dearth of Qualified Workers.


videoBartow High Students' Video Answer to "Why Choose a Manufacturing/Logistics Career?"


Last month MSSC received a video submission from the MSSC Assessment Center at Bartow Senior High School in Bartow, Florida addressing the question "Why Choose a Career in Manufacturing or Logistics?"  Check out their amazing video produced by the students, great job!


MSSC Video Competition Bartow Academy of Engineering
Bartow Academy of Engineering MSSC Video




mexicoHigh-Level Economic Dialogue between U.S. and Mexico Works to Make North America the Largest Manufacturing Region in the World


According to NASCO's, "North America in the World Report for 2015", President Obama and Mexican President, Pena Nieto met in Washington on January 6, 2015 to discuss cross-border immigration, boosting trade and economic growth in both countries, and other topics. While the Presidents were meeting, Vice President, Joe Biden and Finance Secretary, Luis Videgaray headed the 2nd meeting of the High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) that included Cabinet members from both countries. They talked about how to make of North America the largest manufacturing region in the world. The HLED looks to promote competitiveness and connectivity, regional growth, productivity, innovation and the development of alliances.


MSSC has a special interest in this issue, since it is a Board member of NASCO, the North American Strategy for Competitiveness. The NASCO Board has identified MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) training and certification systems as the centerpiece of its workforce skills development strategy for North America.   
Featured Article

The White House Announces America's College Promise Proposal

to make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, or industry credentials needed in the workforce. Read full article here

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MSSC End of the Year Report