New CU Header
June 16-17 Executive Briefing on use of certifications to close "Skills Gap" in Great Lakes region
President, Tom Snyder, of Ivy Tech Community College in collaboration with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council and featuring MSSC and National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) will host an Executive Briefing on June 17, 2015 entitled "Industry Certifications: Closing Manufacturing Skills Gap In Great Lakes Region."
The goal is a cross-fertilization of ideas and best practices and from industry and policy leaders in the eight Great Lakes States to form a regional solution to the acute need for higher skilled technicians. MSSC encourages all members of the MSSC Community from the Great Lakes states to attend this influential Executive Briefing. Please mark your calendars and click here for Conference Registration. Please note, there is no registration fee.
For further questions and hotel reservations, please contact Catherine Feeney, Community Outreach Manager at
Ivy Tech president makes case for CTE and industry-recognized credentials
Tom Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College has written a compelling article in HuffPost College detailing the benefits and importance of Career and Technical Education and industry-recognized credentials.

Snyder, himself a past CEO of Delco Remy International, agrees that leaders in the manufacturing industry are greatly challenged by finding workers with advanced manufacturing skills. "For example, at Cummins Inc., a global power leader in Indiana that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel engines and related technology around the world, Ivy Tech has placed over 200 apprentices in various programs while at the same time preparing them in the classroom to receive The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council's Certified Production Technician certification. This certification addresses the core technical competencies of highly skilled production workers in all sectors of manufacturing. The certificate can be obtained after a year of study and passing a national exam. It is recognized by manufacturers nation wide."

Please click here for the full HuffPost College article. 

ACT and MSSC announce collaboration to expand use of stackable credentials
On March 23rd, the MSSC and ACT announced a formal collaboration to accelerate the use of stackable credentials from the two organizations: the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (ACT NCRC®) and MSSC's Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) credentials.

Please click here for a full ACT MSSC Press Release which includes a number of examples that illustrate the value of combining these credentials.
NICC director speaks to the value of the ACT/MSSC stackable credentials
According to Randy Schofield, Director, Upper Mississippi Manufacturing Innovation Center at Northeast Iowa Community College, NICC has noticed a definite correlation between how a student does on the NCRC and how successful they are with MSSC, CPT modules.  

"The over 100 MSSC certifications awarded over the past 18 months have proven to us that students who earn a Bronze or less on the NCRC, struggle to grasp MSSC, CPT modules.  At the same time, students who score Silver, Gold, or Platinum, have proven to do progressively better in the classroom and on the exams.  We have yet to see a student with Gold or Platinum on their NCRC not receive a MSSC certification on their first attempt!"
MSSC contributes to MI's workforce skills certification goals
In June 2011, President Obama endorsed The Manufacturing Institute's (MI) 5-year goal of 500,000 industry certifications issued within its Skills Certification System.
In early March, the Institute announced that its partners had already issued some 419,528 certifications--putting the System on track to beat the original 5-year goal by well over a year! 
As a Founding Partner of the Skills Certification System since 2009, the MSSC is proud of its contribution to this remarkable progress. To date, the MSSC has assessed some 90,000 individuals and issued over 70,000 credentials under its two training and certification programs:  Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT).

Please click here for the MSSC press release.

Bill in congress would establish "manufacturing universities"
According to the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee, WI, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is among a bipartisan group introducing a bill to designate 25 manufacturing universities across the country and give each one $20 million over four years to step up advanced manufacturing in engineering programs.

The bill would provide incentives for universities to focus engineering programs on manufacturing, build new partnerships with manufacturing firms in their region, increase training opportunities and foster manufacturing entrepreneurship, according to Baldwin.

Please click here for the full Journal Sentinel article.

Perkins Act reauthorization promotes use of industry credentials

Employers are reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions. Career and technical education (CTE) programs, throughout the country, are central to overcoming this skills gap. MSSC would like to make you aware of the current efforts of the STEM Education Coalition, an alliance of more than 500 business, professional, and educational organizations that works aggressively to raise awareness in Congress about the critical role of STEM education in the US.  To that end, the STEM Ed Coalition is asking for industry support to reauthorize the Perkins Act, which they believe is critical for the continued economic prosperity of the United States and ensures the country remain a leader in global competitiveness. A reauthorized version of Perkins should:

  • Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state, and local labor market;
  • Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
  • Increase student participation in experiential learning opportunities such as industry internships, apprenticeships and mentorships; and
  • Promote the use of industry-recognized credentials.

If you are interested in signing onto this effort, please submit your signatures here: Perkins Reauthorization Support Letter by March 31, 2015.

OCTAE Report supports industry certifications and "badging"

In February, 2015, the Office of Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) at DoEd published a detailed "Making Skills Everyone's Business" report presenting a vision for making adult skill development-upskilling-more prevalent, efficient, effective, and convenient.

This vision rests on an understanding that foundation skills-the combination of literacy, numeracy, and English language as well as employability skills required for participation in modern workplaces and contemporary life-are a shared responsibility of, and value and benefit to the entire community.

The report specifically states that, "many learners want to study on their own or cannot commit to regular attendance, even for an online class. They may face participation barriers, such as limited program capacity or inconvenient scheduling. For these learners, a strategy may be to provide high-quality, engaging content that results in demonstrable mastery of skills and competencies accompanied by credible, portable micro-credentials, such as badges or certificates.

NOTE: MSSC will shortly be piloting its own "badging" program.

 Please click here OCTAE Report.




Industry Week reports tech will boost jobs growth, highlights importance of including advanced technologies in MSSC standards

According to Industry Week, new technologies are capitalizing on the jobs market and in the workplace, said Arianna Huffington and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt at a London conference.


The Future of Work conference, staged at Lancaster House, looked at how technological advancements are changing the shape and even existence of traditional workplaces.

"While there have been a lot of concerns about machines and technology replacing humans, when it comes to jobs, in fact we are seeing that technology is allowing an enormous amount of new jobs to emerge," Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post online newspaper, told AFP.


NOTE: MSSC is in the process of adding a group of emerging advanced technologies, including 3-D printing, Internet of Things, and nanotech, in its 2015 national skill standards.


Please click here for the Industry Week article.





KMCC using MSSC courses to capitalize on increasing job placement rates
The Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center (KMCC) is a one-stop resource in Louisville that has been providing career counseling and training to people interested in the manufacturing field since May 2013.
More than 60 companies are actively engaged with KMCC through the Employer Advisory Group. This group advises KMCC on skills needed for the current workforce, types of training needed, and ways to promote manufacturing careers in the region.

hile manufacturing is indeed recovering, many employers are finding it hard to fill those new positions with qualified workers - people who have problem-solving skills, can apply mathematics to their work, can listen and read for information, and have a basic understanding of safety and production processes.

This is the challenge that KMCC is working to address by enrolling students into its four-week MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) training courses. CPT is focused on those who want to start a new career in manufacturing or certify their manufacturing skills to secure a better job.

The center has become a go-to place for local manufacturers to find qualified candidates and to post job openings. Since the center opened in May 2013, 356 people have been placed in jobs through KMCC. Of these, 127 students earned the MSSC - CPT full certification and also earned four college credit hours at JCTC for use toward the school's manufacturing programs.

Please click here for the full KMCC Article.

John Wood CC will offer forklift and industry-recognized MSSC safety course
John Wood Community College will offer two courses this spring that may be completed in four-weeks to include an MSSC safety course and a forklift operation course. The cost of courses may be fully funded for qualified applicants.


The Technical Education Coordinator at John Wood, David Hetzler, says the training transforms an individual into the complete employee.


"Besides the training they are going to get here, the physical forklift and the instruction on safety, we are going to teach them some of those soft skills that are required to get a job," Hetzler explained. "Being on time, knowing that it's important to call in if you are going to be late or if you aren't going to be at work. So those are the skills employers are looking for, someone they can count on." Classes will take place at JWCC's Workforce Development Center at 4220 Kochs Lane in Quincy. Courses begin April 6.


Please click here for the full article.


Modesto Junior College receives funds to earn MSSC logistics certificate

Modesto Junior College's Technical Education and Workforce Development (TEWD) received grant money in part to prepare students for the MSSC L1 or L2 certifications. 


Successful students will now be able to earn the nationally-recognized Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) or Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) certificates at a reduced cost.  


Please click here for the Logistics Warehouse Training flyer.




Port delays prompt retailers to consider U.S.-based manufacturing

According to Cargo Business news, recently resolved labor problems at West Coast ports, along with other issues, have spurred retailers to consider goods made in the U.S.


According to a new study by consulting firm BDO, even though the cost of manufacturing remains lower in overseas regions like Asia, 43 percent of retail chief financial officers said that North America features the most attractive sourcing opportunities for 2015.


"If you just look at pure dollars of the labor cost [in the U.S.], it's not cheaper," said Ted Vaughan, partner in BDO's consumer business practice. "But when you start adding up the costs of manufacturing overseas and you add in the additional shipping costs or the potential for delays and getting products, those costs will begin to equal out."
Please click here for the full Cargo Business News article.
In This Issue
June Ivy Tech meeting
Case for career tech ed and credentials
ACT MSSC collaboration
Value of ACT/MSSC stackable credentials
MSSC contribues to MI's skills goals
Bill to establish mfg. universities
Perkins reauthorization
OCTAE report
New tech to boost future jobs
MSSC courses increaseing job placement
JWCC offers MSSC safety
MJCC funds reduce CLA/CLT cost
Retailers consider US-based manufacturing

Featured Article

MSSC and ACT are now formally working together on marketing initiatives including additional case study development, advertising, public relations, research and event marketing to communicate the benefits of stackable credentials in workforce development, education and policy.

Quick Links