"At a time when millions of Americans face unemployment, manufacturing jobs with excellent salaries-and across all skill levels and sectors-are unfilled because of the lack of qualified applications," says John Engler, president and CEO of NAM. "Tough economic times call for clear pathways to skills in demand."
The Manufacturing Institute, a nonprofit subsidiary of NAM, is establishing and operating the system, which is based on the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate and includes certification programs required by various industry groups for entry level positions. Higher levels of practitioners are reinforced by the SME certifications for manufacturing engineers and for manufacturing technologists.
"SME has long been a proponent of building a high-skilled workforce using outcome-based assessments," says Mark C. Tomlinson, SME's executive director and general manager. "This system provides the framework to make it happen."