Closing the labor gap is imperative for the continued success of the manufacturing industry. With more than 300,000 unfilled openings and more than 80 percent of executives reporting a shortage of skilled workers, attracting young people to the manufacturing industry is one of the primary goals of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). NIMS sets skill standards for the industry, certifies individual skills against the standards and accredits training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements.

NIMS’ Executive Director, James Wall, joined IMTSTV to talk about some of the initiatives the organization is undertaking to build the talent pipeline. He first explained that NIMS was initially established to address the wide variation in standards across the country. As a result of inconsistent standards, the industry collectively had become skeptical of degrees and the abilities of potential new hires. NIMS has created credentials that are recognized nationwide and are fully transferable.

Companies can now go to NIMS’ website and find programs that are credentialing individuals in their state or community. This allows industry executives to locate and connect with nearby programs and their graduates.

NIMS is also supporting the establishment of apprenticeship programs, Wall noted. NIMS has created a model for apprenticeship programs that provides a great place for companies to start. Apprenticeships provide companies with the unique opportunity to train people to meet their specific niche needs, and companies should strongly consider establishing or expanding a program, Wall said.

For more information about NIMS’ credentialing and apprenticeship programs, visit their website. Learn more about how you can improve your workforce and advocate for manufacturing by subscribing to AMT’s e-magazine, The MFG Advocate