U.S. Efforts Aim to Increase Credentialed Workforce, Support Manufacturing

June 5, 2012
In early May 2012, The Manufacturing Institute and its partners announced significant progress towards achieving a five-year goal to award 500,000 industry-based credentials to individuals, positioning them for employment and advancement in manufacturing jobs.

At the same time, President Obama called on Congress to move forward with a “To-Do List” for creating jobs that included ways to help spur U.S. manufacturing.

“With as many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs going unfilled today, this is an important step in getting unemployed Americans back to work and maintaining the competitiveness of our manufacturing economy,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute (www.themanufacturinginstitute.org). “The Institute remains committed to building the educated and skilled workforce our nation’s manufacturers need to stay competitive. So we are partnering with world-class industry certification bodies and community colleges, because they can and are delivering the in-demand skills for today’s innovation and productivity-driven workplaces.”

Skills certification “is an excellent starting point for any manufacturer to qualify new job applicants,” said Daniel Twarog, president of the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA, www.diecasting.org). “Individuals with a fundamental understanding of math, English and the sciences have an excellent foundation for any manufacturing position.”

NADCA is working with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM, www.nam.org) to build the die casting workforce and expand the Manufacturing Skills Certification System. “We think our members will benefit greatly and we will encourage them to ask applicants for their certification when applying for a job in a die casting facility,” said Twarog.

Over the past year, certification bodies that are partnered with the Institute have issued 84,738 certifications to students and incumbent workers that cover in-demand, portable skill-sets necessary across multiple manufacturing sectors, said McNelly.

Administration support
President Obama traveled to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s NanoTech Complex in Albany, N.Y. to describe his To-Do List. The first item on it “will help spur American manufacturing, an industry that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s,” he said. But the President urges Congress to take action to help create even more jobs for U.S. workers. He said:

“At the moment, companies get tax breaks for moving factories, jobs and profits overseas.  They can actually end up saving on their tax bill when they make the move.  Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay here are getting hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  That doesn’t make sense.…Before we completely rework the tax code, before we’ve done a full-blown tax reform, at the very least what we can do right away is stop rewarding companies who ship jobs overseas and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that are moving jobs back here to America.  So we’re putting that on Congress’s “To-Do” list. Join the conversation via Twitter (#CongressToDoList) or online (www.whitehouse.gov/todolist).

Other proposals by the President include:

  • A new-hire tax credit for small businesses. Give a 10 percent income tax credit for firms that create new jobs or increase wages in 2012 and that extends 100 percent expensing in 2012 for all businesses.
  • Invest in affordable clean energy. Extend the Production Tax Credit to support American jobs and manufacturing and expand the 30 percent tax credit to investments in clean energy manufacturing (48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit).
  • Put returning veterans to work. Honor our commitment to returning veterans by creating a Veterans Job Corps to help Afghanistan and Iraq veterans get jobs as cops, firefighters and serving their communities.

>> Click here for coverage of the 2012 Automation Conference. 

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