I doubt anyone would argue that increasing awareness of the skilled worker shortage is a bad thing, yet solutions remain elusive. Glass-is-half-empty types might even argue that all the buzz around this issue in recent years has been for naught, aside from driving home the fact that the problem has become too big to ignore.
Just don’t tell that to the more than 6,000 metalworking companies and industry trade associations that have invested more than $7.5 million in private funds to prepare tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce. More specifically, that’s the amount invested to help the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) develop credentials that help individuals market themselves and employers verify the skills of potential workers. If these organizations were wasting their money, it’s doubtful that this investment would have paid off, but evidence suggests it most certainly has. In 2013, NIMS issued 13,888 industry-recognized credentials—a 58.8 percent increase from 2012.
Click here for more information, including a state-by-state breakdown of where credentials were awarded. Meanwhile, let’s continue to beat this dead horse. The more people know about opportunities in manufacturing, the better chance we have of solving the problem once and for all.