New Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model Released

May 13, 2010

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Since its introduction in 2006, the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model has served as a framework for developing and enhancing manufacturing education and training programs across the U.S. An updated version, released this month, contains new information on sustainable and green manufacturing, as well as updated guidelines in several competency areas.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the release of an updated version of the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model. The model, first introduced in 2006, was developed to provide a framework of the skills necessary to pursue a successful career in today's high-tech manufacturing workplace.

"The framework was developed because manufacturers increasingly recognized the need to agree on a common understanding of the entry-level and technician-level skills they require to remain competitive. In this way, industry can ensure they are hiring workers who can succeed in a 21st century advanced manufacturing environment," the Working for America Institute, a labor-sponsored nonprofit organization, explains. "The framework does not replace or duplicate existing skills standards, but rather presents the core skills needed across-the-board to be a high-performance worker in today's advanced manufacturing environment."

The model provides a clear description of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform well in a specific job, occupation or industry.

Since its inception, the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model has served as a resource for the development of models in the emerging fields of automation and mechatronics. It has also served as the foundation for the National Association of Manufacturers-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System and as a framework for developing and enhancing manufacturing education and training programs across the country.

The framework competencies range from personal effectiveness attributes, such as integrity and motivation, to technical competencies, such as working with spreadsheets, using computer-aided design and performing assembly processes.

Recognizing that the manufacturing industry's skill requirements are evolving constantly, the Labor Department collaborated with industry organizations to update the model. The National Association of Manufacturers, the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers took the lead in collecting feedback from their memberships to ensure that the updated model includes the most current processes and practices.

The updated model contains new information and key behaviors in several competency areas that together define successful performance in a defined work setting.

"Since the release of the original Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model, the skills required of the manufacturing workforce have continued to evolve," Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the ETA, said in a statement. "[The] ETA and its industry partners have worked to update the model so that it accurately reflects the current skill needs of the manufacturing workforce.

"This effort includes the recognition that knowledge of sustainable and green processes and technologies are now an important part of the advanced manufacturing skill set," Oates added.

To ensure that the model remained up-to-date for today's manufacturing practices, the ETA worked with its industry partners to revise the original model. Completed in April and announced in May, the updated model contains new information on sustainable and green manufacturing, as well as updated criteria in several competency areas, including:

To access the complete, revised competency model, check out the Competency Model Clearinghouse HERE.

Earlier: ETA Identifies Necessary Skills for Future Workforce

Resources

Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model (updated) Competency Model Clearinghouse, May 2010

U.S. Dept. of Labor Announced Release of Updated Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model Employment and Training Administration (U.S. Dept. of Labor), May 4, 2010

Competency Models and Skill Standards - Advanced Manufacturing Competency Framework Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Strategies Tool Kit (Working for America)

Addressing the Workforce Challenges of America's Advanced Manufacturing Workforce U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), May 22, 2006

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