NIMS Wins Federal Contract to Grow Apprenticeships in Manufacturing

Initiative will enable more companies to provide students and workers with skills for success

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the manufacturing industry’s developer of skills standards and credentials, is proud to announce that it has been selected by the United States Department of Labor as an industry intermediary to support the expansion of registered apprenticeships within manufacturing. NIMS will work with industry, workforce and education partners to increase access to apprenticeships and assist employers in developing new programs that reach diverse talent pools. As part of this initiative, $500,000 is available to support companies in establishing a registered apprenticeship program with the Department of Labor.

“For over two decades, NIMS has worked with companies, workforce development groups and community colleges to stand-up high-caliber apprenticeship programs across the country,” said Jim Wall, Executive Director, NIMS. “This contract gives us the unique opportunity to create more impact in our industry by expanding apprenticeships to underrepresented populations and to new companies looking to establish a sustainable talent pipeline.”

NIMS will focus on providing companies with tools and resources to develop customized registered apprenticeship programs. These programs combine on-the-job training with job-related classroom instruction and meet national standards for registration with the Department of Labor or State Apprenticeship Agencies.

As part of the contract, NIMS will support the expansion of registered apprenticeship programs by:

  • Equipping companies with the necessary information to design and implement a registered apprenticeship program;
  • Supporting companies and industry groups in completing the registration process; and
  • Creating new avenues for employers to share best practices on the creation of registered apprenticeship programs.

“A registered apprenticeship is a proven work-and-learn model that has a long history of preparing manufacturing workers for success,” said Greg Chambers, Director of Corporate Compliance, Oberg Industries, which has run successful registered apprenticeship programs since 1971. “But NIMS has modernized and enhanced apprenticeships in manufacturing to meet the needs of the millennial workforce and today’s dynamic workplaces.”

The Oberg Apprenticeship Training Program is a competency-based program certified by the US Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration and was established to guarantee that the company would maintain future generations of highly skilled workers. Oberg currently offers more than a dozen Apprenticeship Programs.

Major stakeholders that will support the expansion of apprenticeships in manufacturing include:

  • AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology
  • National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA)
  • Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA)
  • Precision Metalforming Association (PMA)
  • Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA)
  • The Aluminum Association (AA)
  • Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute (DMDII)
  • Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT), operated by ManufacturingUSA
  • Manufacturing Institute (MI), the workforce development arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
  • National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC)
  • National Governors Association (NGA)
  • National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network)

NIMS is seeking companies and education and industry partners that are interested in enhancing their talent pipelines through apprenticeships.

Companies that are interested in building an apprenticeship program or organizations that are interested in partnering with NIMS should go to or email the NIMS ApprenticeshipUSA team at