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NIMS Celebrates 25th Anniversary, Launches New Smart Solutions

Allows manufacturing companies and educational institutions to establish agile, dynamic training programs

Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 11:00

(NIMS: Fairfax, VA) -- The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), established in 1995, is marking its 25th anniversary in 2020 with fresh, forward-thinking methodologies for skills training, performance validation, and credentialing that address the competencies needed by today’s technology-driven manufacturers.

“Manufacturing operations have automation and digital systems in place today that weren’t even concepts 25 years ago,” says Montez King, executive director of NIMS. “As such, the skills required and the ways in which those skills are taught and measured are changing as well, both on the job and at educational institutions. NIMS is uniquely positioned, after 25 years in industry and career and technical education, to be at the forefront of this effort.”

NIMS was founded in 1995 as a nonprofit organization with the mission to develop and maintain a globally competitive American workforce. During the last 25 years, the organization has become the industry standard for skills training, validation, and credentialing, providing now more than 60 portable credentials in specific technical areas. The organization also is instrumental in developing industry standards that NIMS credentialing candidates are tested against, giving employers confidence in the end performance of any potential employee with a NIMS validated credential. In keeping with the revolutionary, “smart” digital transformation occurring in industry with its new advanced technology roles for employees, NIMS has kept pace with this rapid change by revamping its mission’s approach. The organization has developed new Smart Standards, Smart Training Principles, and Smart Performance Measures as the three main pillars of its effective framework.

Elaborating briefly on each, Smart Standards are highly customized, yet are also standardized and recognized by industry. They enable proper training for employees in manufacturing where technology is developing and changing faster than an average individual can master in their career span. They reveal job roles and adapt to ever-changing technology and workforce requirements. Smart Training Principles are the guiding parameters to establish a quality, highly customized on-the-job training program that reveals true performance validation and a praiseworthy investment return for companies. Smart Performance Measures properly define, validate, and benchmark employee performance, along with the communication mechanisms needed among all stakeholders in a community: organizations, trainers, and trainees. They measure performance of each stakeholder and reveal end performance, which provides clarity, transparency, and unification of the applied learning.

Further, just as flexibility is one of the hallmarks in today’s manufacturing environments, so too is this new approach that allows manufacturing companies and educational institutions to establish agile, dynamic training programs that can keep up with the rapidity of technology adoption. To help employers assess their own on-the-job training programs, NIMS offers a free evaluation survey on its website for employers to use by linking here.

NIMS has launched new standards and credentials in recent months based on the new Smart Standards framework, such as Dimensional Measurement and Machining, which features new roles in CAM programming and 5-axis CNC machining. Very soon the organization—partnering with Festo Corporation—will introduce Industry 4.0 standards that will culminate in a portable credential for employees and students by the fall. Essentially, the “new NIMS” is an Industry 4.0 network, but in the world of training and certification.

“Gone are the days of conformance to a one-size-fits-all training and workforce development paradigm,” says King. “As schools and companies brought their challenges to us, we had to develop solutions, and those solutions had to align to ‘smart’ manufacturing and Industry 4.0. With the leap in technology and its application in manufacturing over the last 25 years, and the new initiatives at NIMS to meet those skills challenges, I’m confident we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2045!”

To learn more about the new NIMS Smart Training Solutions framework, NIMS recently hosted an informational webinar and invites everyone to use the following link to download, listen, and follow up directly with NIMS with your questions, comments, and for more details here.


About The Author

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Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) is the nation’s only ANSI-accredited developer of precision manufacturing skill standards and competency assessments. Additionally, NIMS certifies individual skills against standards and accredits programs that meet its quality requirements. NIMS stakeholders represent more than 6,000 U.S. companies.