The federal government can fill an important role by supporting development of programs in manufacturing training and certification where the need exists. Most of the government’s focus should be on helping to address the growing skills gap that the nation is facing. Some industries will need more support than those that are well established with structured training and certification systems.
For example, there may be a need for support for development of certifications in new and emerging career fields where no certifications currently exist, and a need for help in synthesizing all existing information related to training and certifications. There are many existing certifications but no comprehensive source of information which compares and assesses the information. This work should be performed with business and industry but there is a federal role related to support and focus.
There also is a need for government to support development of assessments which measure student employability skills. There are few nationally-recognized assessments which measure employability skills – those skills which include (but are not limited to) critical thinking, adaptability, problem solving, oral and written communications, collaboration and teamwork, creativity, responsibility, prof3essionalism, ethics, and technology use. Business and industry continue to identify these skills as some of the most important for employees to possess, yet far too few students are entering the workforce with strong employability skills.