NIMS Celebrates 25th Anniversary

“The skills required and the ways in which those skills are taught and measured are changing,” says Executive Director Montez King.


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The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) is marking its 25th anniversary. NIMS was founded in 1995 as a non-profit organization with the mission of developing and maintaining a globally competitive American workforce. Since then, the organization has specialized in skills training, validation and credentialing, currently providing over 60 portable credentials in specific technical areas. The organization has also developed industry standards against which NIMS credentialing candidates are tested, giving employers confidence in the performance of any potential employee with a NIMS-validated credential, the company says.

“Manufacturing operations have automation and digital systems in place today that weren’t even concepts 25 years ago,” says Montez King, executive director. “As such, the skills required and the ways in which those skills are taught and measured are changing as well, both on the job and at educational institutions. NIMS is uniquely positioned, after 25 years in industry and career and technical education, to be at the forefront of this effort.”

NIMS says it has kept pace with the rapid change described by Mr. King by revamping its mission’s approach. The organization has developed what it calls Smart Standards, Smart Training Principles and Smart Performance Measures as the three main pillars of its current framework. Smart Standards are intended to enable proper training of employees in manufacturing where technology is developing and changing faster than an average individual can master in their career span. Smart Training Principles are designed to serve as the guiding parameters for establishing customized on-the-job training programs. Smart Performance Measures serve to define, validate and benchmark employee performance along with the communication mechanisms needed among all stakeholders in a community: organizations, trainers and trainees. 

“Gone are the days of conformance to a one-size-fits-all training and workforce development paradigm. As schools and companies brought their challenges to us, we had to develop solutions; and those solutions had to align to ‘smart’ manufacturing and Industry 4.0,” says Mr. King.