-  Today at the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, Right Skills Now was highlighted as a national model that is helping jobless Americans rejoin the workforce.  Darlene Miller, President and CEO of Permac Industries, gave the manufacturing employer’s perspective of Right Skills Now during a panel discussion with other business representatives about developing talent to spureonomic recovery. 

In the fall of 2011, Darlene stood before the President and his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and told him her personal story: if she did not find skilled machinists, she would have to close her business at the end of the year. Darlene is not alone.  82% of manufacturers report that they are facing a moderate to serious skills gap, notably in skilled production, a gap that has left 600,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled today.

President’s Jobs Council enlisted the help of The Manufacturing Institute  to create a fast-track solution that would not only give individuals the skills they need to meet employer demands right now, but would position them to continue to upgrade their skills and education to stay competitive as manufacturing evolves and required skill sets change.  With this request, Right Skills Now was launched to respond to the talent crisis.  This accelerated program 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.

Right Skills Now is an acceleration of the NAM –Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, which includes nationally portable, industry-recognized certifications that are combined with for-credit education programs.  This program prepares individuals for both internship and full-employment opportunities.  The program also provides individuals with a valuable portfolio of recognized credentials:  ACT’s National Career Readiness credential and 4 National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credentials.

Right Skills Now is currently being proven in Minnesota, where there is an incredible team of employers and educators working together to ensure its success.  Other Right Skills Now sites have been established in Nevada, Washington state and Michigan.  Employers are matching with individuals that have the right skills

As Darlene said today, “Rights Skills Now is an example of great collaboration.” The program is proof that the right stakeholders working together at the right time can drive impact in communities and nationally. 


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