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Nov 2015  
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NIMS announces record number of certifications

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), Fairfax, Va., announced that it awarded a record number of credentials last year to individuals seeking to enter into or advance in jobs in the metalworking industry. In 2013, NIMS issued 13,888 industry-recognized credentials, representing a 58.8 percent increase from 2012.  

"These numbers show that manufacturing employers are increasingly in need of skilled talent, and individuals are seeking to validate their skills and differentiate themselves in the hiring pool through industry-recognized and standards-based credentials," said Jim Wall, executive director of NIMS.  "As manufacturing becomes more complex, technology-driven and innovative, companies, workers, and students need to keep up with evolving industry standards and job requirements."

More than 6,000 metalworking companies and major industry trade associations have invested more than $7.5 million in private funds to develop NIMS standards and credentials that prepare and advance the industry's workforce and continue to upgrade and maintain the standards as the industry changes.  

"As a contract manufacturer of customized parts, we market the skills and abilities of our employees to potential customers," said Greg Chambers, director of corporate compliance at Oberg Industries, Freeport, Pa.  "We prefer that our current workforce and the individuals we hire have NIMS credentials, because it tells us—and our customers—that they can perform to industry standards." 

NIMS has developed skills standards ranging from entry-level to master-level that cover the breadth of metalworking operations, including metalforming and machining. NIMS certifies individuals' skills against these national standards via credentials that companies can use to recruit, hire, place and promote individual workers. Training programs, such as those at community and technical colleges, incorporate the credentials as performance or completion measures of academic coursework in metalforming or machining programs.

"As an employer, it is important to know the capabilities of a candidate-especially when you are relying on them to add to the value of your business and your customers' businesses," said Jamie Price, president of Sandvik Coromant USA, Fair Lawn, N.J.  "NIMS certifications are the easiest way for a candidate to show his or her area of expertise.  That credential on your resume shows that you can be trusted with a business' production and processes."

"Building and accessing a high-caliber workforce is a top priority, which is why we work to provide students with a relevant, high-tech and hands-on educational experience, so that they can become work-ready CNC machinists, programmers, and engineers," said Bob Skodzinsky, Haas Technical Education Center Network program director, Haas Automation, Oxnard, Calif. "Using NIMS' standards and credentials in our programs guarantees that the students are receiving relevant and quality training, and ensures that they will be competitive the second they apply for a job in the industry."

NIMS was the subject of a feature article in the January issue of Cutting Tool Engineering.

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