Manufacturing and the Talent Challenge
American manufacturing helps fuel the economy, but in recent years companies have reported that they struggle to find skilled talent to fill the jobs that are essential to their operations. As experienced employees retire, it can be a challenge to find candidates with the skills for increasingly complex tasks, as businesses embrace automation. MFG Day serves to foster a stronger workforce while celebrating modern manufacturing. This year's celebration will include 2,572 virtual and facility events to showcase the inner workings of all types of businesses, from welding to 3D printing.
To gain a competitive edge in the workforce, prospective employees may choose to add to their skillset by obtaining credentials from educational programs. For U.S. manufacturing to close the skills gap and maintain its competitiveness, the quality, market value, and effectiveness of manufacturing credentials must be carefully examined, and an understanding of what new credentials may be needed to fill the current and future needs of manufacturing must be established. ANSI affiliate Workcred is partnering with NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership to examine the quality, effectiveness, and market value of manufacturing credentials through a comprehensive study.
The collaborative research project aims to: (1) identify credentials being used by manufacturers that are representative of the industry; (2) evaluate the quality of the credentials against national and/or international standards; (3) determine the market value of credentials based on data from the credential issuer; (4) determine how the credential is being used and how the effectiveness of the credential is being determined in work settings through interviews with HR department officials, work supervisors, and individuals who hold the credentials; and (5) identify the need for new credentials, the scope and outcomes needed of the credentials, and what organizations might be willing and capable of creating the credential.
Standardization Efforts to Support Manufacturing Business
In addition to supporting top talent through educational efforts for students such as national STEM events, ANSI is a longtime supporter of efforts to improve manufacturing through standardization. One of its leading efforts, launched in 2016, is the America Makes & ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC), a cross-sector coordinating body whose objective is to accelerate the development of industry-wide additive manufacturing standards and specifications consistent with stakeholder needs and thereby facilitate the growth of the additive manufacturing industry.
The catalyst for the AMSC is the fact that a number of standards developing organizations are engaged in standards-setting for various aspects of additive manufacturing, prompting the need for coordination to maintain a consistent, harmonized, and non-contradictory set of additive manufacturing standards.
AMSC is targeting to publish in February 2017 a standardization roadmap for additive manufacturing.
ANSI also publishes a large number of manufacturing and production standards on its Webstore.
Read more about MFG Day and find educational resources on the official event website, or follow the conversation on social media via #MFGDay16.