Work Force Development

The Manufacturing Assistance Center has adopted the National Voluntary Skills Standards for Advanced High Performance Manufacturing developed by the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing, (NACFAM). These basic or "core standards", sub-divided into thirteen categories ranging from Communications and Teamwork to Workplace Skills, are the core skills required by today’s workforce. Any one manufacturer may require not all skills within a subset, or even entire subsets. However, the skills required by any manufacturing position can be defined within the entire standards.

We are working directly with NACFAM and specifically with Mr. C.J. Shroll, Vice President – Workforce Development and Director – National Skill Standards for Manufacturing. It has been through his guidance that we have been able to proceed in the process of implementing these standards.

Our goal is to implement them into the local manufacturers in order to develop a consortium for training. To identify the training needs of several manufacturers and present courses that are topical and at a reduced cost to the individual manufacturer by combining employees from several companies into one class.

Many individual organizations have developed higher level skill sets to define the competencies required to perform specialized jobs. These "specialized standards" may include certain machining operations, electricians, etc.

The next step in the logical evolution of skill standards is to link these two groups. In March of last year, the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, MSSC, was formed to do just that, by developing a third set of standards, "concentration standards". These standards will document the skills needed in particular areas of manufacturing such as, production, quality assurance, and maintenance and repairs. John Rauschenberger, Chairman of the MSSC’s steering committee, likens the three sets of standards to a tree. "The core standards are the ‘trunk’. The concentration standards will be the ‘branches’ of the tree. The specialty standards will be the ‘leaves’.

If you are interested in skill standards for your organization, contact:

Dick Parkinson
Manufacturing Assistance Center
60 Prescott Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Tel: (508) 831-7020 Fax: (508) 831-7215

E-mail [email protected]

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