NIMS Awarded New Funding to Advance the Nation’s Precision Manufacturing Workforce

Effort Will Lead to Better Matches Between Students, Workers and In-Demand Jobs

NIMS is pleased to announce new funding in partnership with the National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network), an effort led by Business Roundtable and ACT Foundation, aimed at advancing skills, training and talent development for the precision manufacturing industry. Lumina Foundation and the Joyce Foundation have provided funding support for the initiative.

NIMS will use this investment to analyze and promote how manufacturers can use NIMS credentials to establish competency-based human resources and talent management practices. Competency-based practices include those which place higher value on a candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities rather than a specific degree or experience.

This innovative project is one of 12 being conducted as part of the National Network’s efforts to give students and workers clear pathways to meaningful careers while providing employers a skilled, competitive workforce. Each project focuses on addressing the critical workforce needs of its sector, and a specific aspect of the National Network’s three-point plan. This plan includes: identifying competencies and promoting credentials that lead to work; creating more work-and-learn opportunities across the economy; and encouraging more employers to use competency-based hiring practices. For more information on the 12 projects and the organizations receiving funding, please click here.

The project will have several outcomes that will be published for use by all employers:

  • Translating NIMS credentials to a common language between what defines the competencies in NIMS credentials and what defines performance in the most common jobs in the precision manufacturing industry.
  • Creating a Credential Mapping Tool that links each NIMS credential to key occupational areas and job titles.
  • Developing Sample Job Descriptions that employers can use that articulate the specific skills needed for in-demand jobs.
  • Partnering with several companies to test these tools within their recruitment, screening and hiring processes.

“The benefits of this toolkit will expand beyond industry to support working learners,” said James Wall, executive director, NIMS. “The translation tool and the Career Mapping Tool will allow NIMS credentialed candidates to know what skills and credentials they need to advance in their chosen career pathway and help them articulate what their credential means to employers.”

“Business leaders need skilled workers to fill jobs at their companies and make them competitive around the world,” said John Engler, President of the Business Roundtable. “This effort will help find new ways to train more people to fill the open jobs and ensure workers have the skills and training they need to be successful.”

“ACT Foundation applauds the business-led solutions the National Network has already created which provide the foundation for connecting learning and work, including a profile of Common Employability Skills and a replicable Competency-Based Apprenticeship model,” said Parminder Jassal, Founding Executive Director of ACT Foundation. “These 12 new projects made possible by Lumina and Joyce Foundations will continue to help align the needs and practices of business with the learning, skills development, and opportunities individuals require for success.”

National Network

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network) represents major business sectors and is funded through a collaborative partnership of Business Roundtable, ACT Foundation, the Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Members include leaders in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation, professional and business, and information technology sectors. They represent the source of nearly 75 percent of projected U.S. job growth through 2020 (an estimated 30 million new jobs). More information on the National Network can be found here. Click here to view National Network members.

About Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy. Established in 1972, Business Roundtable applies the expertise and experience of its CEO members to the major issues facing the nation. Through research and advocacy, Business Roundtable promotes policies to improve U.S. competitiveness, strengthen the economy and spur job creation.

About ACT Foundation

ACT Foundation reaches across organizational boundaries, sectors, and the nation, to fund and develop strategic approaches to support working learners in their individual journey toward successful careers and lives. Based in Austin, Texas, ACT Foundation is a private, independent organization, endowed by ACT Inc., a nonprofit public trust committed to helping people achieve educational and workplace success. The Foundation connects fifty years of data and insights to catalyze and build a National Learning Economy that will nurture the success of working learners while fueling a stronger economy.

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system, while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. For more information, log on to:

About The Joyce Foundation

The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation invests in solutions to pressing economic and social challenges that influence the quality of our lives, the vitality of our communities and the fairness of our society. Joyce focuses on the Great Lakes region, and also has national reach and impact. Joyce programs seek quality education for all children, greater economic opportunity for disadvantaged workers and a fully representative democracy serving the public interest. It supports strategies to reduce gun violence, clean up and restore our natural environment and enrich communities with vibrant, diverse arts and culture. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter, @joycefdn.