NAM to Offer Manufacturing Skills Training

The National Association of Manufacturers announced a new Manufacturing Skills Certification System today in hopes of filling open jobs for which qualified applicants are lacking, even with the nation's unemployment rate soaring.

Associated General Contractors of America made a similar announcement Jan .12 when it launched a new "competency model" developed with the U.S. Labor Department to train construction workers. Steven Sandherr, AGC's chief executive officer, said construction companies are growing increasingly concerned about how difficult it is to find qualified applicants to hire.

The NAM system will help new workers and newly unemployed workers seeking new careers. "At a time when millions of Americans face unemployment, manufacturing jobs with excellent salaries and across all skill levels are unfilled because of the lack of qualified applicants," said John Engler, NAM's president and CEO. "These tough economic times call for clear pathways to help new and transitioning workers gain the skills they need for good jobs."

ACT, Inc. provides the National Career Readiness Certificate adopted by NAM as the "gateway" to its Skills Certification System; information about the system is posted at NAM's Institute Web site.

There are jobs available in all sectors of manufacturing, from alternative energy to life-saving pharmaceuticals, according to NAM. ACT Chairman & CEO Dick Ferguson and representatives of Corning, Inc.; Lorraine County Community College in Ohio; the Mississippi Department of Employment Security; the Council of Manufacturing Associations; and the Manufacturing Institute joined Engler at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to kick off the system.

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