Great Lakes Manufacturing Council

Great Lakes Manufacturing Council Celebrates Future Impact of Newly Formed Partnership: The Joyce Foundation and Manufacturing Institute

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Initiative will educate employers about industry-based certifications that verify worker skills, by helping match employer HR practices to education movement of using industry certifications to develop a technically skilled manufacturing workforce.

Detroit, MI – February 1, 2012  – The recent announcement of the $200,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to the Manufacturing Institute has received great accolades from the members of the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council (GLMC), which since 2006 has worked to promote, preserve and enhance manufacturing in the Great Lakes Region.

“One of our mandates is to collect and display vital information about the resources and assets that assist manufacturing.  And, because of our tremendous reach as an ‘association of associations’, the GLMC will be able to embrace a vital information and best practice sharing role within the framework presented,” says Ed Wolking, Chair of the GLMC.  “We are confident that we can work across sectors and partners to ensure that this practical, innovative, multi-layered Skills Certification System designed by the Manufacturing Institute and its partners can be replicated to the benefit of manufacturers throughout the Great Lakes Region.”

Helping manufacturers compete in a global economy has remained central to the Council’s mission. GLMC members are a diverse cross-section of leaders who benefit from the opportunity to participate in strategy-level discussions that promote the economic health and growth of the Great Lakes Region.  Wolking added that the education of employers about the benefits of using certifications to verify the skills of new hires and advance those of current employees fits well with the GLMC’s key focus areas, especially workforce development in the knowledge-based manufacturing economy.

“As we build a supply of educated individuals with verifiable skills for jobs in the manufacturing economy, we also are focusing on educating employers about how to build relationships with education institutions and incorporate industry-based certifications in their hiring and talent management practices,” said Emily DeRocco, president, The Manufacturing Institute and Board member for the GLMC. “The reality is that the workforce—the people moving great designs and ideas to product—is the single most important driver of innovation. But, even in these tough economic times, manufacturers collectively report they have as many as 600,000 unfilled high-quality jobs because of a skills shortage in the hiring pool. Our vision is to close the skills gap to support our manufacturing economy, and educate employers on using certifications
As part of this work, the Institute will focus on the following activities to enhance understanding of and demand for certifications among U.S. manufacturers:
    •    Benchmark each state’s current employer engagement strategies to identify opportunities for partnership and enhancement.
    •    Develop for widespread distribution additional materials needed to present the business case for employers’ use of industry-recognized credentials in HR recruitment, screening and hiring practices.
    •    Analyze and select appropriate strategies for employer education and engagement, including sector or cluster-specific and peer-to-peer learning activities.
    •    Develop a full communications plan to encourage employers to take action within their companies and with their community colleges to support educational pathway development aligned to industry credentials.
    •    Participate in employer gatherings hosted by state manufacturing organizations and other business groups to educate and engage more employers.
    •    In partnership with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), explore linking companies’ tuition assistance to programs of study offering industry credentials.
    •    Continue to conduct research and gather evidence of the Return on Value of the Manufacturing Skills Certification System.

The GLMC fosters innovative partnerships, identifies best practices, enhances resources and increases exposure to new ideas.  In an effort to engage with the entire Great Lakes manufacturing community, in January 2012 the GLMC launched a new website that offers online community discussions about projects, manufacturing news and views, working groups activities, and more.  For additional information visit:

The Great lakes Manufacturing Council
The Great Lakes Manufacturing Council (GLMC) is a 501-C-3 non-profit organization that works to promote, preserve and enhance manufacturing in the Great Lakes Region. Collaborating among council members, the GLMC helps manufacturers and their communities compete.  Image, Innovation, Workforce, Logistics & Borders, and Manufacturing Policy are the key areas of focus. Recognizing that assistance is offered from a large variety of sources, the GLMC’s database helps members identify programs of interest.  Manufacturers can use this source to quickly identify programs for their benefit, and agencies offering programs can review what others are doing to support their clients.

The Manufacturing Institute
The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501 (c) 3 affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers.  As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers. The Institute focuses on developing human capital strategies through education reform and workforce development, conducting applied research to provide critical information to public policy makers on challenges and opportunities for today's industry, and advancing the innovation capacity of manufacturers operating in a global market.

The Joyce Foundation
Improving the Quality of Life in the Great Lakes region and Across the Country.
The Joyce Foundation supports the development of policies that both improve the quality of life for people in the Great Lakes region and serve as models for the rest of the country. The Joyce Foundation focuses on today's most pressing problems while also informing the public policy decisions critical to creating opportunity and achieving long-term solutions. The work is based on sound research and is focused on where the Foundation can add the most value. The Foundation encourages innovative and collaborative approaches with a regional focus and the potential for a national reach.

About the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System
The NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System is a system of stackable secondary and post- secondary credentials applicable to all sectors in the manufacturing industry. These nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials validate the skills and competencies needed to be productive and successful in any manufacturing environment. The credentialing partners that comprise the Skills Certification System are ACT, the American Welding Society, the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, International Society of Automation, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Institute, the International Fluid Power Society, the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the American Society for Quality, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, the Association for Operations Management, the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, and the North American Die Casting Association.

The Skills Certification System is the benchmark standardized assessment of the critical workplace traits and occupational skills an individual needs to be successful in any entry-level manufacturing position. It confirms both technical and non-technical skills, assuring that an individual has both the “book smarts” and the “street smarts” to function in a high-paced manufacturing environment. Because the certifications are integrated into degree programs of study, individuals receive college credit while earning a certification, moving them closer to a college degree. For more information about the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, visit: Certification-System.aspx

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