-  Washington, D.C., 3/14/12 - Emily Stover DeRocco today announced her departure from the Washington, D.C.-based Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, effective the end of March.  DeRocco was elected president of the Institute by its Board of Trustees in March 2008, after she left a Presidential appointment in the Bush Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor, a position she held for 7 years.

As President of The Manufacturing Institute, DeRocco focused on addressing the critical skills gap and building an educated and skilled workforce to fill American manufacturing jobs.  During her tenure, the Institute’s signature initiative, the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, was developed and deployed.  This national program is a system of nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials whose industry learning standards and content are integrated into for-credit programs of study in high schools and community colleges across the nation.  This manufacturing workforce solution is currently active in 36 states and is expanding.

DeRocco also continued her focus on aligning education with economic and workforce development strategies in regional economies.  As manufacturing led the economy out of the recent recession, The Manufacturing Institute’s focus on delivering a skilled workforce gained importance across the country.  The initiative attracted support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Joyce Foundation, and the Alcoa Foundation.  Most recently, the MacArthur and Mozilla Foundations selected the Institute as the first industry organization to recognize the importance of learning and skills attainment in premier informal learning organizations, such as SkillsUSA and Project Lead the Way.

In 2008, DeRocco chartered the first national Education Council to manufacturers, to bring together progressive education leaders in K-12, community colleges, and universities to focus on innovating manufacturing education.  She also served on the Boards of Directors of the Western Governors University and the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, the Business Advisory Board of the Open University of the U.K., and the Advisory Board of the University of Mississippi’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence.  Other Board or Advisory positions include SkillsUSA and America’s Promise Alliance.

Most recently, DeRocco was named to the Higher Ed Working Group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology, to work on the recently released report, Engage to Excel.  This year, she also has served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Study Commission on Developing the Nation’s Energy Workforce.

A hallmark of her tenure at The Manufacturing Institute has been a new focus on accelerating the innovation capacity of manufacturers, by pursuing new partnerships with the National Science Foundation, and proposing with the Ohio-based EWI a national network of regional innovation accelerators.

Continuing the research agenda for manufacturers, in the past 4 years, the Institute has released important research on the Structural Cost Burden of manufacturers operating in the U.S., the Public Perception of Manufacturing in the U.S., the Facts about Modern Manufacturing, the Skills Gap, the Innovation Imperative for Manufacturers, NAFTA, and a Small Manufacturers series.

DeRocco intends to continue working in public policy, education reform and workforce development, and regional economic development.  Her successor at The Manufacturing Institute will be elected by its Board of Trustees at its March 15 meeting.

View the press release here.

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