National Institute for Metalworking Skills Welcomes Announcement to Expand Apprenticeships

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) applauds efforts by the Administration to expand apprenticeships through an $100 million competitive grant program to launch apprenticeship models in high-growth fields; align apprenticeships to career pathways; and scale effective apprenticeship models. NIMS has developed over a dozen competency-based apprenticeship models in the machining and metalworking industry.

These models monitor progress based on performance, in lieu of rigid hours, allowing individuals and companies to customize the apprenticeship model based on respective needs. “There are an estimated 99,500 projected job openings for machinists and 117,100 projected job openings for industrial maintenance technicians nationally through 2020,” said Jim Wall, Executive Director, NIMS. “We stand ready to partner with applicants across the country to help prepare more people for these growing careers by ensuring the highest quality training that is directly aligned to the core skills and competencies required and needed by industry. The NIMS team is equipped with the subject matter expertise to launch a successful competency-based apprenticeship training program with industry leaders through:  

  • Customizing competency-based apprenticeship models;
  • Supporting the implementation and sustainability of competency-based apprenticeships, through various avenues including project management, technical assistance and more; and,
  • Providing workshops and training support with employers and training partners NIMS’ Competency-Based Apprenticeship System, developed in partnership with the United States Department of Labor and over 300 companies, integrates NIMS national standards and skill credentials into measuring required competencies for multiple occupations.

NIMS has developed the skills standards in 24 operational areas ranging from entry-level to master-level that cover the breadth of metalworking operations, including metalforming and machining. All NIMS standards are industry-written and industry-validated, and are subject to regular, periodic reviews under the procedures accredited and audited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). NIMS certifies individuals’ skills against these national standards via 52 distinct credentials that companies can use to recruit, hire, place, and promote individual workers.

Training programs incorporate the credentials as performance or completion measures of academic coursework in metalforming or machining programs. The credentials are often the basis for articulation among training programs. In 2013, NIMS issued 13,888 industry-recognized credentials, representing a 59% increase from 2012.