TechWorks’ New “National Institute for Metalworking Skills” Credentials Yields Immediate Employment
After meeting with local manufacturers to determine what they desire in an entry-level CNC machinist, TechWorks intensified the assessment/entry-level steps and outcomes for its Fast-Track (F-T) CNC Machine training. The new curriculum includes Job Readiness training through Rock Valley College, additional time in both the classroom and hands-on time on the CNC machinery, and a National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credential. This enhanced program has produced a more employable graduate.
In addition, with the extraordinary number of available CNC machine positions in the northern stateline area, TechWorks assisted its students, both current and recent graduates, by organizing a job fair with local manufactures and placement agencies; the results were impressive. A portion of the students were hired before the class graduates [March 3]. The remaining students have been asked to contact or visit the companies for longer, more in-depth interviews. One of the F-T students, who is also a military veteran, was hired and started employment while simultaneously completing his training.
Who is a good fit for the new TechWorks F-T curriculum? Any individual who:
• Has the desire to work in the advanced manufacturing field • Has a high school or college education and is interested in a secure industry • Is unemployed, underemployed or wants to make a change in a secure industry (must possess good reading and math skills) • Is interested in the opportunity to potentially program CNC machinery • Is interested in the opportunity to potentially supervise CNC machinists
The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) announced that 2010 Credentialing Testing was up 43 percent over 2009. “Moreover, 2009 was a record year itself,” noted NIMS Executive Director Stephen Mandes in an annual report to the NIMS Board of Directors and Stakeholders.
NIMS continued growth comes as no surprise to NIMS Board Chairman Gregory Chambers of Oberg Industries. “The rise in NIMS registrations and credentialing is due to NIMS being positioned to meet the demands of the industry,” said Mr. Chambers. “Employers are looking for competency-based assessments and third party validations of skills. The NIMS standards and credentials are designed by the industry to fulfill that need,” he said. NIMS tests were up 43 percent in 2010 over 2009 with 5,455 tests issued and 4,450 credentials earned. NIMS issued milestone credential number 25,000 in July 2010.
Pennsylvania, with its statewide NIMS testing program lead all states, but there were marked increases in many states as the industry continues to use credentials internally and ask for NIMS credentials, and the schools and training institutions continue to require or promote them. Illinois was second in number of tests taken and number of credentials earned. Rounding out the top five were Connecticut, Alabama and California. California, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi demonstrated marked increase in testing and credentialing.
Mr. Mandes reported that there is a surge in requests for its CNC credentials at all level, including its CNC programming and CNC operator credentials. He noted that the CNC Milling Operator and CNC Turning Operator have become very popular since their introduction in 2009, increasing from 165 in the initial year to 401 in 2010.
The highly anticipated, NIMS-endorsed Precision Machining Technology Textbook from Delmar Cengage has officially arrived and is on the market for secondary and post-secondary/adult metalworking training programs alike.
Beginning with the first section, "Introduction to Machining," the textbook builds its foundation on essential workplace skills and safety, then takes the reader through manual skills, before closing with more advanced CNC and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Machining (CAM) skills.
The textbook, which is a first of its kind, covers all eleven skills areas of NIMS Machining Level I and includes NIMS Standards and Credentials to supplement manual and Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) skills.
Special thanks to the four authors, all of whom have worked with and supported NIMS for years, for their outstanding contribution to the publication of this book and to the betterment of precision machining training in the United States:
Peter J. Hoffman, Berks Career & Technology Center - West Campus (Leesport, PA) Eric S. Hopewell, Berks Career & Technology Center - West Campus (Leesport, PA) Brian Janes, Bowling Green Technical College (Bowling Green, KY) Kent M. Sharp, Jr., Radford High School (Radford, VA) & New River Community College (Dublin, VA)
Mahoning County Career & Technical Center Takes a Stand in Ohio
UPDATE, February 2, 2011: A second video has just been added to Instructor Stape's Manufacturing Ohio blog, and this one is geared towards schools and parents. Watch it now!
As the Precision Machining Technology (PMT) Program grows closer to officially renewing its status as a NIMS-Accredited program, Instructor Richard Stape is leading a campaign to boost enrollment for his program at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center and to give today’s youth a nudge towards the realization that a career in manufacturing can offer a gainful, exciting experience.
Making great use of the connectivity that the internet provides, Stape recently created a blog called Manufacturing Ohio, created “for people to gain information regarding machining, manufacturing and manufacturing education.” Working with the folks at his school, Stape created a great promotional video for his program, which has been posted on Manufacturing Ohio.
Mahoning’s video for prospective students, created by John Burr - currently with BOC Water Hydraulics in Salem, Ohio, also a member of the PMT Program's Advisory Committee and a graduate of that very program, tackles some of our greatest challenges in recruiting and training tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce: the common misconception held by parents and the public that manufacturing careers are labor-heavy, dirty, dangerous jobs; the notion that a machinist’s wages are subadequate; the perspective that products being made are not affecting our daily lives; the antiquated idea that women have no place in the industry; and, with all the aforementioned challenges in mind, the unfortunate lack of support from school guidance counselors in highlighting this career path for their students. Stape’s promotional video addresses all of these topics, cutting to the truth of the matter: that manufacturing can provide a stimulating, rewarding career.
Keeping the momentum strong, Instructor Stape is now working with his Advisory Committee and various local employers “to organize a trade association for manufacturers of Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio.” The ambition of this potential trade association is to address and seek solutions to the impending shortage of skilled workers in their Eastern portion of Ohio. A meeting will be held on February 2, 2011 to discuss the possibility of formally founding this association and establishing a plan of action.
Department of Labor Announces $500 Million Community College and Career Training Program
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a major solicitation for grant applications under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program. The Labor Department will award approximately $500 million this year through the program and a total of $2 billion over the next four years. Grants will support the development and improvement of postsecondary programs of two years or less that use evidence-based or innovative strategies to prepare students for successful careers in growing and emerging industries. The program will be administered by the Labor Department in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
"Everyone, especially the trade-impacted workers who are the focus of this program, deserves access to the level of education necessary to obtain employment that can support a family," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "These grants will help colleges create programs that make it possible for workers to come back to school and acquire skills and industry-recognized credentials needed to compete for good jobs in growing industries."
The grant program will expand opportunities for workers by accelerating progress and reducing time to completion; improving retention and achievement rates; building instructional programs that meet industry needs; and strengthening online and technology-enabled learning.
Applicants must be community colleges or other two-year degree granting institutions of higher education as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965. The grants will enable eligible institutions to expand their capacity to create new education or training programs — or improve existing ones — to meet the needs of local or regional businesses.
Colleges interesting in partnering with NIMS to assure that program participants earn nationally recognized industry credentials should contact NIMS Executive Director Stephen Mandes at email@example.com or at (703) 352-4971.