Manufacturing Workforce Training and Certification

Skills Certification Critical

For manufacturers, the application of skills in real-world workplaces is critical to developing an educated and skilled manufacturing workforce for the 21st century. Government should focus resources on certifications that are industry recognized and nationally portable.


A portable skills certification system, developed and recognized by broad industry partners and implemented in high school and local two- and four-year college programs, coordinates the needs of advanced manufacturing with that of existing educational pathways.


When academic and technical programs are aligned with industry needs and standards, students gain recognized credentials and companies gain skilled workers. For example, schools in 23 states are now interested in aligning their educational programs of study with the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. These states recognize that an educated and skilled workforce is important to their manufacturers’ business success.


By creating more pathways for secondary and post-secondary education and aligning education with industry-recognized skills credentials, the United States can create the kind of manufacturing workforce that will facilitate ever-needed product and process innovations in an evolving global business climate.

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Idea No. 161