The U.S. economy depends on advancing the knowledge and skills of American workers throughout their careers. While the workforce needs of manufacturers change rapidly, the U.S. public workforce system – with origins in the 1930s and 40s – distributes nearly $10 billion dollars through programs that emphasize “push” training to unemployed workers. Through reform of the Workforce Investment Act, more robust inner- and intra-agency coordination, and the integration of workforce development with economic development and regional innovation initiatives, NACFAM believes that manufacturing stakeholders can collaborate to create a more “pull-based” system. Furthermore, emphasis must be placed on the increasingly important role of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, reflecting the dynamic needs of the economy, while allowing students and workers – including at risk workers – to continuously upgrade their skills.
Workforce Mission: To increase America’s talent pool by brokering the development and support of innovative and collaborative manufacturing policies and programs.
Workforce Council Chair: Joe Houldin, CEO of the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center
NACFAM's Current Issues/Programs in Workforce:
NACFAM's "21st Century Learning System for America"
November 4, 2008: So far 32 national manufacturing trade associations and professional societies have agreed to support America’s 21st Century Learning System policy road map recommendations developed by NACFAM members. Key points include:
Validated and rigorous world-class learning standards, assessments and curricula for Pre K – 16.
Applied learning in grades Pre K – 12.
Demonstrated mastery of academic and workplace competencies for high school seniors to get diplomas.
Strengthened career counseling for students in grades 7-12.
Support of life-long learning and continuous skill enhancement for all Americans through retirement.
National Micro- & Nanofabrication Skill Standards
NACFAM is collaborating with Penn State University's National Center for Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) to establish national skill standards for micro- and nanofabrication technicians and to obtain program accreditation.
To develop national micro- and nanofabrication skill standards, NACFAM will work with industry partners across the country to define the requisite technician level skill sets ... and with nationally-recognized certifying organizations to gain recognition, adoption and endorsement of these skill standards.
In carrying out this initiative, NACFAM will make every effort to complement ETA's Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model and any other relevant models developed by national entities in which these standards and related programs fit.
To gain accreditation of the national skills standards, NACFAM will also work closely with educational institutions and pertinent industry organizations to define learning objectives and outcomes ... and with national accrediting organizations to establish accreditation standards for micro- and nanofabrication technicians. The aim of these activities is to ensure consistent, high quality in micro- and nanofabrication technician degree programs.