The Skills Certification System is grounded in the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model.  This model, built by manufacturers, for manufacturers, serves as a roadmap of the skills needed by workers entering and then advancing in careers across the manufacturing economy.

The foundation of the Competency Model – and the Skills Certification System - includes core or basic skills that cut across all sectors in manufacturing:

  • Personal effectiveness: Will prospective employees show up on time, be dependable and demonstrate initiative?

  • Workplace competencies: Do they use critical thinking skills, work in teams and have problem solving skills?

  • Basic applied skills in reading, writing, math and locating information: Can workers communicate effectively, follow key instructions and read manuals?


Next are the critical industry-wide technical competencies.  These are the critical work functions that contribute to every manufacturer’s bottom-line such as safety, quality assurance/continuous improvement, maintenance installation and repair, production, and sustainable manufacturing.

The third level of certification is occupationally-specific. High-demand occupations are matched with critical industry certifications in such areas as machining, welding, fabrication, automation, fluid power, mechatronics and logistics. 

At the top of the Competency Model are managerial and specialty occupations, including engineering.  These are covered by various professional certifications, typically associated with baccalaureate and advance level degrees.

The Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model was developed because manufacturers recognized the need to agree on a common understanding of the entry-level and technician-level skills they require to remain competitive. The framework does not replace or duplicate existing skill standards, but rather represents the core skills needed across-the-board to be a high-performance worker in today’s advanced manufacturing environment.

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