WASHINGTON, D.C.-The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Manufacturing Institute launched a new NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System that "will revolutionize education and training for the 21st century manufacturing workforce," according to NAM President and CEO John Engler.

"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 applicants," says Engler.

The NAM system will initially focus on the core, basic skills required for entry-level workers in all sectors of manufacturing. The core skills include personal effectiveness competencies such as willingness to learn and dependability; academic competencies such as applied science and presentation skills; workplace competencies such as teamwork and applied technology; and industry-wide technical competencies such as supply chain logistics and health and safety.

"Employers can be confident that individuals who earn National Career Readiness Certificates will have the core foundational skills to begin successful career paths in the manufacturing industry," says Richard Ferguson, chief executive officer and chairman of ACT, a founding partner in the NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.

The new system of skills certifications maps to both career pathways across the manufacturing economy and to educational pathways in postsecondary education. These pathways will be deployed through community colleges to provide students and transitioning workers with industry-recognized skills certifications that are educational credentials with real value in the workplace.

The following organizations have partnered with the NAM and the Manufacturing Institute for the certification system:

  • ACT Inc.
  • Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC)
  • The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS)
  • The American Welding Society (AWS)
  • The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

    For more information about the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System, visit www.nam.org/institute.