The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) reports that it awarded 13,888 industry-recognized credentials in 2013 to individuals seeking to enter or advance in jobs in the industry. This record number represents a 58.8-percent increase from 2012, when 8,745 credentials were awarded. The majority of credentials were earned in the United States, with workers in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Indiana earning the most, though credentials were also issued in South Africa, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The record-high 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," says Jim Wall, NIMS executive director. "As manufacturing becomes more complex, technology-driven and innovative, companies, workers and students need to keep up with evolving industry standards and job requirements."
Supported by more than 6,000 metalworking companies and major industry trade associates, NIMS has developed skills standards ranging from entry-level to master-level that cover a range of metalworking operations. The organization certifies individuals' skills against these national standards via credentials that companies can use to recruit, hire, place and promote individual workers. NIMS credentials are a way for workers to show evidence of their skills to potential employers, as well as a means for companies to educate their existing employees on industry standards. Many 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.