The Association For Manufacturing Technology President Douglas K. Woods reacted positively to the news that President Obama is endorsing a manufacturing skills credentialing system to boost manufacturing jobs growth as part of his Skills for America’s Future initiative launched last year. Skills for America’s Future is an effort to improve industry partnerships with community colleges to ensure that America’s community college students are gaining the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the workforce.
“I am encouraged by the President’s speech today, that he understands the importance of training and credentialing to building a manufacturing ‘smartforce,’” Woods says. “The factory floor today is very different from what it used to be, and we need workers who are up to the job. For more than two years now, AMT has emphasized the crucial role of public-private collaboration between industry, government and schools in meeting the demands of the new manufacturing workplace. The Manufacturing Extension Partnerships should be an integral part of this collaboration as the ideal conduit between the stakeholders.”
Adoption of a skills certification program—such as that proposed by the Manufacturing Institute and its partners—along with support from the MEPs, is one recommendation of AMT’s Manufacturing Mandate, a three-pronged strategy for re-invigorating American manufacturing. The Mandate calls for building a capable 21st century smartforce, increasing commitments to R&D and innovation and enhancing global competitiveness by leveling the playing field for American businesses as the ingredients necessary for strengthening manufacturing and spurring economic growth. “I hope the President doesn’t stop here,” Woods continues “More needs to be done to support this country’s manufacturers. I would like to see the administration further expand the role of MEPs to become the new Manufacturing Innovation Centers, a one-stop resource for manufacturers to grow their businesses.
“This month, high school and college graduates across the country will take to the streets to find jobs,” he says. “It won’t be easy as evidenced by the recent jobs numbers, but there is opportunity in manufacturing. Hopefully, we can continue on the momentum of today’s speech with concrete actions to create jobs.”
Founded in 1902 as the National Machine Tool Builders’ Association, AMT supports and promotes the U.S. manufacturing technology industry. The association provides U.S. builders of manufacturing systems with the latest information on technical developments, trade and marketing opportunities, and economic issues. It also gathers and disseminates information about world markets, promotes its members’ products in those markets, and acts as a representative on manufacturing technology matters to governments and trade organizations throughout the world. Visit online at [www.amtonline.org].