New NIST Report Examines Manufacturing Industry Credentials

May 31, 2019

A new report funded by the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) examines how manufacturers use industry credentials to find skilled workers and upskill existing ones. The report, Examining the Quality, Market Value, and Effectiveness of Manufacturing Credentials in the United States, was carried out via online surveys, and a series of focus groups to evaluate the effectiveness of current credentials and provide feedback for improvement.

Among the report’s findings, it concluded that many manufacturers do not know what credentials are available or how they are relevant to their workplace, and that manufacturers often feel they need to train new employees regardless of whether or not they held a credential. Additional findings also revolved around the treatment of credentials in the manufacturing industry, including in larger verses small manufacturers.

The report also provided a set of recommendations for concerned stakeholders, including:

  • Increased transparency for improved understanding of the purpose, use, and competencies of manufacturing credentials.
  • Expansion and clarification of credential quality standards.
  • Development of stronger relationships between manufacturers, educators, trainers, and credentialing organizations.
  • Addition of more employability (soft skills) to current and new credentials.
  • Address the need for new credentials that focus on performance and specific.
  • Expansion of apprentices and apprenticeships to more manufacturing occupations.

View the full report at: https://workcred.org/Documents/NIST-MEP-Report.pdf