-  Jennifer McNelly, president of the Institute, and Ron Bullock, Chairman of the Institute's Board of Trustees, were both featured in the newest issue of The Illinois Manufacturer.

Over the past few months, manufacturing has enjoyed something of a national spotlight. Organizations all across Washington, from the White House and Congress to major think
tanks and government agencies, have been discussing the manufacturing industry and what America must do to maintain and grow its manufacturing base. Manufacturing is certainly deserving of the recognition it is now receiving because it is an industry that is truly vital to our economic security. No other industry creates more value or has a higher multiplier effect, and this results in a 53 percent compensation premium for manufacturing workers nationwide.

In response to this crisis, The Manufacturing Institute has developed and is implementing solutions that will position the U.S. to “grow our own” talent. The core premise of our solution is that, in manufacturing, we have standards for every imaginable input and output. Whether it is the composition of steel, the tolerance of machines, or the failure rate of a part, manufacturers can give the details to three decimal points. So we created a system that allows manufacturers to be as rigorous in the standards they apply to their most
important asset — human capital. Three years ago, the Institute launched the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System (SCS) to produce the high performance workforce that is critical to the strength and vitality of our manufacturing economy. The Institute is working with manufacturing certification organizations who are the world market leaders in skills certification programs. This collaborative effort resulted in an
organization of the certification programs, and the credentials they offer, into a system of “stackable credentials” that can be awarded in postsecondary education.

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