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Dedicated employees + SMA Machine Skills Career Track + NIMS Certifications + Career Studies Certificate + Associates Degree = Win! Win! (or Winning) Formula.

September 29, 2015



"Over the next decade nearly 3 ½ million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 Million of those jobs being unfilled". This, according to a recent Manufacturing Institute report, is the cold hard facts facing our industry today.
Access to a highly skilled, educated workforce is the most critical element for a global competitiveness advantage and innovation success. Increasingly, companies report they cannot find individuals with the skills required for today's advanced manufacturing workplaces. These skill shortages pervade all stages of manufacturing- from engineering to skilled production.

SMA staying ahead of the curve! Anticipating the need for increased skills and acknowledging its capable workforce already in place with a willingness to learn, SMA, in partnership with Tidewater Community College and two other local manufacturing companies, launched a newly-created Machine Skills Career Track to address the skills gap challenge and to promote a renaissance of manufacturing education within the company. This re-skilling program aligns with SMA's long-range re-shoring manufacturing initiatives of becoming more self sufficient in machining our own gearing components. About two years ago, assemblers and other shop personnel started an aggressive training program attending classes after hours and on Saturdays to learn new skills. (See Graph 1 for explanation of Machine Skills Career Track). After completing Level II Machine Skills, participants are ready to sit for the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certification Exams. The NIMS Credentials certify an individual's skills as measured against the NIMS Standards. Earning NIMS credentials requires the passing of a performance test and a rigorous theory test. Congratulations to Matt Crapse, JT Anderson, Tony Perrello and Eric Cobb for passing their first NIMS exam on Measurement, Materials & Safety. (See pictures).
SMA appreciates the dedication and willingness of its existing workforce to learn these new skills. The industry-validated training they receive will equip them for a trade that is in high demand and one that is good for life.


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