The national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council has released its 2014 National Work Standards for Production and Logistics. The industry-led, nonprofit MSSC is an authority on defining industry-wide core technical competencies needed by front-line workers in advanced manufacturing and logistics.
“We believe that the use of a common language between industry and education will offer a more efficient and cost-effective way of preparing individuals with the higher skills needed by industry,” said MSSC Chairman and CEO Leo Reddy. “MSSC standards help produce agile knowledge workers — the industrial athletes of the future — with the stronger, cross-cutting foundational skills needed to help companies achieve greater productivity, innovation and global economic competitiveness.”
The detailed MSSC Work Standards provide the industry definitions, organizational taxonomy, syntax and nomenclature to describe the critical work functions, key activities and performance indicators for manufacturing and logistics. These standards enable industry, state agencies, community colleges and high schools to more effectively harmonize their curricula and credentialing programs, creating much higher levels of coherence, portability and economies of scale.
Specifically, these organizations can use the MSSC work standards in two ways. First, they can serve as the starting point for defining industry skill requirements to make the process for defining needs more efficient. It also reassures companies, most of which operate within a national or global environment, that they are leveraging the authoritative national skills platform defined by MSSC.
Second, schools should embed the subject matter of the standards into for-credit courses at both the secondary and postsecondary levels and build credit articulation agreements between high schools and community colleges. MSSC has produced online curriculum that schools can incorporate into new or existing programs. This enables students to work toward an industry certification as well as a high school diploma or associate’s degree.
MSSC’s work standards are distributed nationally to companies, community colleges, high schools, government agencies, unions and foundations involved with workforce skills education and training. These standards provide effectively a national, industry-defined “common language” for these stakeholders to use in preparing individuals for higher skilled entry-level work for the nation’s 12 million front-line production and closely related material handling-distribution occupations.