NIMS Adopts Common Employability Skills Across Credentialing Programs

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Board of Directors recently passed a resolution to fully adopt and promote the National Network of Business and Industry Association’s Common Employability Skills (CES) framework. The resolution establishes the CES as the foundational skills framework for all NIMS career pathways, credentials and training programs.

As a National Network member, NIMS is one of 23 national organizations developing and implementing cross-sector solutions as part of their industry’s skills gap and workforce development strategies. The CES represents a core set of fundamental skills that all individuals need to succeed in any workplace.

“While employers in the precision manufacturing industry need workers with strong technical skills, those workers can only succeed if they have common employability skills like teamwork and problem solving,” said Jim Wall, Executive Director, NIMS. “By adopting the Common Employability Skills, we are signaling to students, job candidates and training programs that these skills are just as imperative as technical skills to obtaining a successful career in our industry.”

By promoting the CES throughout their networks, employers in the manufacturing sector will be using the same language to articulate basic skills as employers in sectors as diverse as healthcare, food service and public transportation. This approach not only strengthens the message to students and schools that employability skills are paramount to employers, but also helps students and workers understand the skills they have or need to gain to better navigate career advancement and transitions.

In addition to signifying employability in both entry-level and advanced-skill positions in precision manufacturing, the CES also indicates a student’s readiness to earn NIMS credentials. NIMS reports that the CES represents the primary skills that students and workers need to perform well in NIMS technical training programs like Right Skills Now and Competency-Based Apprenticeships.

Students earning NIMS credentials at any level by completing high school, community or technical college, or adult learning programs should have acquired these skills through applied academic and work-based learning. The National Career Readiness Certificate, the foundational credential in the NIMS Right Skills Now program, is one way that individuals can demonstrate to employers they have the Common Employability Skills.

“We want employers in the advanced manufacturing industry to champion the CES as a critical step in solving our skills gap—which could leave 2 million jobs unfilled over the next decade,” said Greg Chambers, Director of Corporate Compliance, Oberg Industries, and Chairman, NIMS Board of Directors. “A job candidate with both NIMS credentials and employability skills completes the picture of a well-rounded new hire who can not only perform in an initial job, but can grow and adapt with the company. This is the workforce that will sustain and advance American manufacturing.”

Formal adoption of the CES by NIMS includes:

  • Displaying the CES on the NIMS employer web portal,
  • Illustrating the CES graphic in materials depicting the NIMS career and credentialing pathways
  • Publicizing the importance of candidates having the CES for readiness for technical programs
  • Distributing additional tools and resources to employers and educators on implementing the CES in human resources practices, training and assessment