Washington, DC, -  Institute Senior Director Gardner Carrick was joined by Institute Board Chair Ron Bullock, Institute Board Member Don McCabe, and all five original certification partners (ACT, MSSC, AWS, NIMS, SME) for a roundtable discussion with White House officials from the National Economic Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy along with leadership from all four branches of the military to explore how to provide manufacturing skills certifications to our nation's servicemen and women.

Three simultaneous and complimentary approaches were discussed:

  1. Embed certifications into the training that military members receive.  NIMS is already working with the Army to credential all soldiers that go through machining training at Ft. Lee so we hope to expand this practice to include other manufacturing disciplines like welding, and replicate it across the other service branches.  This will ensure that all servicemembers who receive training in these manufacturing skills will receive civilian certifications for their training and position them to quickly enter the manufacturing workforce when they decide to transition out of the military.

  2. Provide credential opportunities to servicemembers who are nearing their transition date and have some gained some experience while in uniform in manufacturing skills.  Specifically, offer the MSSC production and logistics tests to servicemembers with the appropriate military experience to provide them with a civilian certification with market value.  MSSC is going to pilot this approach with 10-20 servicemember from each branch of the military to determine how well positioned experienced servicemembers are to pass the MSSC certification exams.

  3. Make the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate an integral part of the transition process for all military personnel.  Because the NCRC certifies the foundational skills required for all civilian jobs, it would better position servicemembers quickly find jobs after they leave the military.  And because the NCRC is used as a screen for education programs like Right Skills Now, it would give servicemember a headstart if they wish to pursue additional education or training.

These credentialing efforts will help move more of our nation's military veterans into jobs in the manufacturing industry.

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