Quality Magazine

White House Initiatives Address Lack of Skilled Manufacturing Labor

June 9, 2011

CLEVELAND- The National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) salute a White House initiative to expand U.S. manufacturing by recruiting and educating more skilled workers. The initiative mirrors ongoing efforts by NTMA, PMA and other manufacturing groups to develop more qualified workers for the metalforming, tooling and machining industries through two main avenues: actively recruiting new workers, and developing widely recognized credentials that signal their qualifications.

"It is essential to the future of our industry that we find creative ways to attract the attention of new workers," says NTMA President Dave Tilstone. "That's why NTMA sponsors activities like the National Robotics League, which draws students to technical careers by partnering student teams with local manufacturers to build complex machines designed to do battle and test ingenuity-all while building high-tech skills."

PMA President Bill Gaskin says that alongside creative recruitment efforts, the key to developing more skilled workers in the United States is the use of uniform, widely-recognized and industry-driven credentials to demonstrate competency in the specific industry skills needed by employers.

"PMA and NTMA have worked closely with the National Association of Manufacturers to devise a way to validate metalworking industry skills through the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) machining and metalforming certifications,” Gaskin notes. “NIMS certifications offer a concrete path for students to acquire or increase specific skills, while in turn providing a set of credentials that signal employers that they're able to perform to quality standards in a skilled machining or metalworking job. Both the worker and employer benefit as a result."