Workforce Development and Training

U.S. manufacturing needs a strong technical workforce. Manufacturers rely on the right workers with the right skills at the right time to drive innovation, increase productivity and remain globally competitive. Workforce development is needed to give workers the right skills to access employment and advancement opportunities.

An important step forward in addressing the skill gap was taken with the enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Manufacturers led the charge to provide much needed streamlining of skills certification programs and the direction of necessary funding to ensure manufacturers have the workforce they need to succeed in a globally competitive environment.

WIOA is part of the solution. U.S. workers and employers need nationally portable, industry-recognized skills credentials. Industry leaders across the manufacturing economy have endorsed a set of "stackable" credentials verifying the core or basic personal effectiveness skills, foundational academic skills, general workplace skills and cross-cutting manufacturing skills necessary for individuals to succeed in virtually all entry-level jobs in manufacturing.

The United States government invests billions of dollars each year in workforce development programs with limited impact. Directing priority to education and training that results in nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials will be good for workers and enable manufacturers in America to maintain their global leadership.

  • 06/22/2017
    House Listens to Manufacturers, Takes Legislative Step to Strengthen Manufacturing Workforce

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement in support of House passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act to reauthorize the Perkins Act.

  • 11/06/2014
    EverFi and the NAM Launch Future Careers Initiative

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement on the results of the 2014 midterm election.

  • 10/10/2014
    How to Build the Skilled Talent Pipeline

    The NAM's Task Force on Competitiveness & the Workforce  created a toolkit and guide to help manufacturing leaders collaborate in their local communities to determine the key competencies needed for new hires to succeed in today’s advanced manufacturing operations, develop a plan for local workforce training providers to deliver the needed training and grow a pipeline to ensure a supply of future skilled talent.

  • 10/03/2013
    Manufacturing Leaders Launch Task Force to Tackle Workforce and Competitiveness Issues
    Washington, D.C., October 3, 2013 – Caterpillar Chairman and CEO and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Board Chair Doug Oberhelman announced the formation of a task force of business and manufacturing leaders that will tackle the workforce challenges hampering the continued growth of American manufacturing competitiveness in the global marketplace.
  • 01/22/2013
    The NAM Announces Formation of New Immigration Coalition to Boost STEM Education
    The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced the formation of a new coalition, inSPIRE STEM USA (Supporting Productive Immigration Reform and Education). The coalition, comprised of businesses, education groups and other national associations, is being formed to address the high-skilled jobs crisis and improve the U.S. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education system. Innovation is the lifeblood of manufacturing, and it is critical that companies have the skilled workforce they need. As a technologically advanced industry, manufacturing relies on skilled workers to lead and grow the U.S. economy.