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Manufacturing Institute

Quality Insider

Manufacturing Institute Launches "Right Skills Now" for Manufacturing

Accelerated education program gives participants industry credentials, college credit toward degrees

Published: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 12:12

(Manufacturing Institute: Washington, DC) -- The Manufacturing Institute, a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to improving and expanding manufacturing in the United States, will officially launch Right Skills Now, a new, fast-track education and training program, built on the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System and designed to both accelerate unemployed and transitioning workers’ return to work and meet the high demand for workers in precision machining jobs in manufacturing.

The launch will be announced at an event at Productivity Quality Inc., located in Plymouth, Minnesota, in conjunction with the Minnesota Manufacturers Week event. The Manufacturing Institute and ACT, an independent nonprofit organization that provides assessment, research, information, and program management solutions in the areas of education and workforce development, will join members of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the leadership of Dunwoody College of Technology and South Central College, the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, and manufacturing executives from Minnesota to present the initiative.

National Association of Manufacturers’ president, Jay Timmons; Karen G. Mills, the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; and Senator Amy Klobuchar will also participate in the event to emphasize the critical importance of workforce training in order to create jobs in the manufacturing sector.


“Access to a highly skilled and educated workforce is the most important factor in a manufacturer’s ability to innovate, compete globally, and create jobs,” says Emily DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute. “Recent studies reveal that there are as many as 600,000 jobs unfilled in manufacturing today because of a lack of qualified workers with the right skills, particularly in skilled production. Right Skills Now is an accelerated education solution that will train and deliver just-in-time talent to manufacturers so they can sustain and expand operations.”

Minnesota is the first state in the nation to implement this accelerated path built on the Manufacturing Skills Certification System endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers. Right Skills Now allows individuals to earn college credit and national industry certifications in 16 weeks, preparing them for immediate employment in high-quality manufacturing jobs and giving them a solid foundation to advance in higher education and careers. Training partners include ACT, the certifying body for the National Career Readiness Certificate—the foundational credential in the Manufacturing Skills Certification System—and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the certifying body for the series of machining and metalworking credentials.

“This program is really going to align the skills that are needed at companies like mine with what is being taught in the schools today—to fill those positions that are currently open and to help us grow our businesses,” says Darlene Miller, president and CEO of Permac Industries in Burnsville, Minnesota.

Right Skills Now is being launched at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis and the South Central Community College campuses in Faribault and North Mankato, Minnesota. Plans to expand the program to other states and to include skills in production and welding are currently underway.


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Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501 (c) 3 affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a nonpartisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute focuses on developing human capital strategies through education reform and workforce development, conducting applied research to provide critical information to public policy makers on challenges and opportunities for today’s industry, and advancing the innovation capacity of manufacturers operating in a global market.