The National Institute for Metalworking Skills reports it issued a new-record 21,420 new credentials during 2015 to individuals seeking job-related certification — a 20% increase from the total issued during 2014. The previous year’s total of 18,947 new certifications represented a 36% increase from 2013, and was declared a new record for NIMS.

The number of certifications issued has increased steadily over the current decade, but in the past year the number issued to individuals has been markedly higher than the average in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

NIMS certifies entry- to master-level skills to individuals according to national standards, via credentials that companies can use to recruit, hire, place, and promote individual workers.  Training programs in metalforming or machining incorporate those credentials as performance or completion measures to secondary and post-secondary level academic coursework.

In the coming year, NIMS will add credentials in Industrial Technology Maintenance and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) to its portfolio.

NIMS was formed in 1995 by metalworking trade associations to set skills standards for the industry, certify individual skills against the standards, and accredit training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements. These skill standards range from entry-level to master-level across the range of metalforming and machining operations.

“Our industry will need to fill over 100,000 jobs over the next decade, which begins with equipping students and workers today with industry-recognized credentials that prepare them for current and future jobs,” stated NIMS executive director Jim Wall.  “These jobs will require more advanced skills, particularly around the use of technology, so training candidates to industry standards is imperative.”

NIMS works with education, industry, and workforce development programs to develop top manufacturing talent.  The certification process includes partnerships with industry trade associations, which have invested in and supported the development of NIMS standards and credentials.

“The need for skilled machinists, CNC programmers and operators, and industrial technology maintenance technicians is critical and is expected to grow between 19-24% over the next decade,” according to Greg Chambers, director of Compliance for Oberg Industries Inc. and board chairman for NIMS. 

“NIMS credentials ensure that companies, workers, and students keep up with industry standards and job requirements and that training programs prepare individuals with the skills they need to enter and advance in these in-demand jobs,” according to Chambers.