President Obama to NIMS & Partners: Certify 500,000 Students with Manufacturing Credentials

President Obama issued a clarion call Wednesday to certify 500,000 American community college students with industry credentials in manufacturing. Accepting the challenge were community and public leaders gathered at Northern Virginia Community College, including the organizations partnering with the Manufacturing Institute at the National Association of Manufacturers.  The NIMS 52 manufacturing skill credentials are embedded as a critical piece of the NAM endorsed certification system.  Executive Director Stephen Mandes represented the NIMS organization.

Other leaders from the NAM/Manufacturing Institute Partnership at the event included NAM President Jay Timmons, Manufacturing Institute President Emily DeRocco and Vice President Jennifer McNally, Leo Reddy, President, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council; Mark Tomlinson CEO, Society of Manufacturing Engineers; Ray Shook, Executive Director, American Welding Society; ACT CEO Jon Whitmore and ACT Workforce Development President Martin Scaglione.  Prominent among the guests were skills development leaders including Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Assistant Secretary Jane Oates.   

In his remarks President Obama noted the present shortage in the skilled workforce, saying “the irony is even though a lot of folks are looking for work, there are a lot of companies that are actually also looking for skilled workers.  There’s a mismatch that we can close.  And this partnership is a great way to do it.”  He then continued to state that “I see a future where we train workers who make things here in the United States, and continue a important and honorable tradition of folks working with their hands, creating value, not just shuffling paper.  That’s part of what has built the American Dream.”

View a video of the President’s speech here