Certification Proponents Report Progress on Closing the Skills Gap


The Manufacturing Institute and its partners, including the International Society of Automation (ISA), say they’ve made significant progress towards achieving a five-year goal to award 500,000 industry-based credentials to individuals, positioning them for employment and advancement in manufacturing jobs.

ISA’s Certified Automation Professional (CAP) and Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) certification programs apply across multiple manufacturing sectors. ISA’s CAP program evaluates the skills of automation professionals responsible for the direction, design and deployment of systems and equipment for manufacturing and control systems. The CCST program, which features three levels of certification, evaluates skills of technicians responsible for calibration, documentation, troubleshooting and repairing/replacing instrumentation for systems that measure and control level, temperature, pressure, flow and other process variables.

With as many as 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs going unfilled today, certifications like CAP and CCST can serve as an important step in getting unemployed Americans back to work and maintaining the competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing economy.

On 8 June 2011, while announcing key steps towards building the educated and skilled workforce U.S. manufacturers need to successfully compete, President Obama cited The Manufacturing Institute’s Manufacturing Skills Certification System, endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the certifications it includes, as a national solution.

“The Institute remains committed to building the educated and skilled workforce our nation’s manufacturers need to stay competitive,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. “Through the Manufacturing Skills Certification System, the Institute works with educational institutions and employers to create for-credit education programs incorporating world-class certification programs like CAP and CCST so individuals get the skills and hands-on training they need for in-demand entry-level and specialized jobs in manufacturing.”

Managed by the Institute, the Manufacturing Skills Certification System includes certification partners ACT, American Welding Society, Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, National Institute of Metalworking Skills, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, International Society of Automation, Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Institute, International Fluid Power Society, National Center for Construction Education and Research, American Society for Quality, Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International, APICS The Association for Operations Management, American Society of Transportation and Logistics, and North American Die Casting Association.

“Manufacturers have long supported the Manufacturing Skills Certification System because it offers results which lead to more productivity and innovation,” said Jay Timmons, president, NAM. “This systematic approach is a terrific example of what we can accomplish when job creators and educators come together. These certified training programs build the skills valued by potential employers, and those who complete the certification have access to higher paying jobs.”

ISA’s partnership with The Manufacturing Institute in this effort is leveraged from the Automation Federation’s ongoing collaboration with the Institute as both organizations seek to advance workforce development for automation and manufacturing professionals. ISA is the founding member of the Automation Federation.

“Over the next decade, physical assets, supply chain optimization and process best practices won’t be enough to differentiate U.S. manufacturers from their competition,” added ISA Executive Director and CEO Patrick Gouhin. “Manufacturers across all industry segments will advance only by investing in human capital. Industry-developed and recognized certification programs like CAP and CCST will ensure that manufacturers have access to the highly skilled talent they need to build a brighter future.”

For more information about the Manufacturing Skills Certification System.

For additional details regarding ISA certification programs.

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