The Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), has unveiled a charter set of schools that are teaching their students industry-validated manufacturing skills under the organization’s Manufacturing Skills Certification System.
The schools on the M-List have arranged their coursework around industry standards as part of their manufacturing education programs, enabling students to earn credentials that are in the NAM-endorsed system. The system is designed to standardize skills in 14 manufacturing areas, including machining and welding. Those who possess the credentials can carry them across the country, giving manufacturing employers nationwide assurance that they have the necessary production skills for employment.
There are nearly 40 community colleges, technical schools, and universities on the initial list. The M-List will also recognize high schools. Some schools are aligned with an accelerated version of the skills system called Right Skills Now. Schools that are interested in becoming recognized with the Manufacturing Institute can submit an application at the organization’s website.
Various industry trade groups have pitched their certifications into the Manufacturing Skills Certification System. They include the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council and its Certified Production Technician marker, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills in machining and metalworking, American Welding Society, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA) and its Precision Sheet Metal Operator Certification, International Society of Automation, International Fluid Power Society, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and others.
In a presentation of the system at an FMA workforce development conference in Anoka, Minn., earlier this month, Brent Weil, Manufacturing Institute’s senior vice president for education and workforce, said he envisions a large national network of education institutions that will teach future manufacturing workforce generations along a standardized pyramid of increasingly sophisticated skills that begins with foundational academics and “personal effectiveness” skills and summits at specialized, sector technical competencies.
All three education, certification, and career pathways will be properly aligned with this system, Weil said.