The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) and Conexus Indiana recently completed an intensive training program for 85 Indiana teachers to deliver the first-ever national advanced manufacturing certification program for high school students.
Conexus Indiana delivers MSSC Safety and Quality content through Hire Tech, a 2-year turn-key high school curriculum that offers students Ivy Tech Community College dual credits toward a degree following high school graduation, and national industry credentials that will help them enter an advanced manufacturing and logistics career after high school. Conexus Indiana’s partnership with MSSC marks the first statewide implementation of MSSC Safety and MSSC Quality Practices and Measurement content for high school students.
“Manufacturing executives have argued for decades, and still argue, that they need more workers with deeper technical and creative problem-solving skills to be competitive in global markets,” said Leo Reddy, who leads MSSC to bolster the nation’s economic competitiveness. “While we’ve made progress over the years, much more work needs to be done.”
Core Skill Focus
Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) is an industry-led, training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers. The nationwide MSSC System, based upon industry-defined and federally endorsed standards, offers both entry-level and incumbent workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly needed in the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century.
“Skilled talent is at the heart of our mission to maintain a leadership position in the design and manufacture of diesel and alternative fuel engines,” said Stan Woszczynski, vice president, chief manufacturing officer, Cummins, Inc. “We employ more than 55,000 people around the world and hire employees with many different skill sets. Employees with industry-recognized credentials, including those with MSSC certifications, help us deliver on our promise of innovation, and these employees have a strong foundation to successfully build a career at Cummins.”
MSSC Safety and Quality content is offered to students through Hire Tech at more than 200 Indiana high schools. Students who successfully complete MSSC’s Certified Production Technician Safety exam and MSSC’s Certified Production Technician Quality exam hold a level of safety and quality sufficient to begin a middle-skill career in the advanced manufacturing industry.
“With one out of 5 Hoosiers working in manufacturing and the state’s manufacturing sector continuing to grow, Indiana has focused much of its workforce efforts on preparing the next generation of advanced manufacturing talent,” said Claudia Cummings, Conexus Indiana’s vice president of Workforce and Strategic Initiatives. “Conexus Indiana, through its industry, education and government partners, developed Hire Tech and forged a successful partnership with MSSC to ensure Indiana students can succeed in industry careers.”
Impact High School and College Students
For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for the advanced manufacturing and logistics industry to invest, employ and succeed. By recruiting industry, government and academia to a shared vision for a skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sector and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage.
Hire Tech is Conexus Indiana’s keystone program and is coupled with a number of other high school programs that provide hands-on experience and career awareness in advanced manufacturing and logistics.
Conexus Indiana’s A+ Partner program is an important component of the Hire Tech curriculum and connects students with employers creating a bridge from high school to the workforce. More than 250 Indiana companies are Conexus Indiana A+ Partners. They engage educators to align classroom instruction with industry standards so students learn in-demand skills, and they work with students in the classroom and at their facilities to bring to life the knowledge gained in the classroom.
During the summer, high school students have the opportunity to be Conexus Interns. The Conexus Interns program provides support to launch paid internships at little or no cost to employers, and qualified high school students work on site at manufacturing or logistics companies, effectively translating classroom instruction into practical experience. Industry partners gain access to talent who know how to get the job done.
For students, these internships can lead to full-time employment after graduation.
Conexus Indiana’s work spans beyond high school and reaches college and university students. With its industry partners, Conexus Indiana reviews and endorses curricula so students who successfully complete associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are employable and reap the benefits of future careers in logistics and manufacturing.
Through Conexus Indiana’s college connections, students also have access to industry executives, giving them an inside track to future career opportunities.
College students also are exposed to high-tech career opportunities through case competitions. In 2016, the first Conexus Indiana Logistics Case Competition brought together 75 students in teams from 17 Indiana colleges to develop the best solution to a logistics-related issue.
For three days, the teams enjoyed unparalleled networking access to many of the state’s highest-ranking executives, while working to develop the winning response to a real-world logistics business case. In 2017, Conexus Indiana is expanding its case competition program to introduce students to manufacturing engineering careers and encourage them to pursue manufacturing engineering studies.
About Conexus Indiana
Conexus Indiana is the driving force in Indiana creating an environment for competitive advantages and growth for advanced manufacturing and logistics.
The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), a 501(c)3 non-profit, is an industry-led, training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers. The nationwide MSSC System, based upon industry-defined and federally-endorsed standards, offers both entry-level and incumbent workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly needed in the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century.