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National Skills Certification Project. Regional Employer Roundtable. Human Capital: Manufacturing and Logistics’ Biggest Challenge.

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national skills certification project

National Skills Certification Project

Regional Employer Roundtable

human capital manufacturing and logistics biggest challenge

Human Capital: Manufacturing and Logistics’ Biggest Challenge

“While low-skill (-25%) and mid-skill (-18%) jobs declined over last 20 years: “Employment in high-skill manufacturing occupations has risen 37%, an increase of roughly 1.2 million jobs. High skill jobs were the only source of job growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector during this period.” - Federal Reserve Bank of New York


80% of manufacturers list ‘finding qualified workers’ as their top concern – NAM employer survey

Manufacturing had the largest gap between job openings and new hires in 2009-2010 – showing the challenge of finding skilled applicants.

(Wall Street Journal, US Dept of Labor)

even more than the rest of the nation indiana f alls s hort in supplying q ualified w orkers
Even more than the rest of the nation, Indiana falls short in supplying qualified workers

The 2010 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card compares the state of Indiana’s AML industries with those of surrounding states:

Human Capital is our lowest grade; Productivity follows Human Capital.


Recently, the Indiana Chamber surveyed 218 Hoosier employers for its Ready Indiana initiative

  • A strong plurality of respondents (37%) in AML
  • Key findings were consistent with the Conexus survey response:
    • Majority (86%) ranked employee skill weaknesses as somewhat/a definite/severe problem for their organizations; 75% increase over 2009
    • Applied skills, i.e. communication, problem solving most lacking in employees
    • Nearly half say most current employees would benefit from additional training
    • Training is seen as an ‘in-house’ issue, with limited awareness of/preference for industry certifications/credentials
conexus employer survey
Conexus Employer Survey
  • Conducted February/March 2011
  • Conducted by Conexus and Regional WorkOne partners in Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, and Central Indiana
  • Selective survey approach
who responded
Who Responded?

134 Indiana employers from the following industry categories:

size by revenue and headcount
Size by Revenue and Headcount

Annual Revenues

Number of Employees

employers still hiring unskilled workers and shouldering the in house training burden
Employers still hiring unskilled workers and shouldering the in-house training burden

What is your minimum educational requirement for entry-level employment?

Less than 10% of respondents require more than a high school diploma.

high school completion and company specific assessments valued far above industry credentials
High school completion and company-specific assessments valued far above industry credentials

Which of the following indicators of work readiness for entry-level employment does your company consider valuable and accurate?

Certifications not routinely utilized by respondents as a hiring indicator.

so it s not surprising that employee readiness is considered a problem
So it’s not surprising that employee readiness is considered a problem…

Somewhat/Definitely a Problem: 68%

…as an outdated approach creates issues.

employers agree that a majority of their employees need more training
Employers agree that a majority of their employees need more training

What percentage of your employees would benefit from targeted training for their job?

53% say half or most of their employees need additional training

skill needs are across the board
Skill Needs are Across the Board

But employers show less confidence in industry certifications…

some usage of industry certifications
Some Usage of Industry Certifications

Of the 56% of respondents who prefer some certification for certain jobs within their organizations, the AWS, MSSC, APICS and SME are most familiar.

the most commonly used certifications are thought to add significant value
The most commonly-used certifications are thought to add significant value…

Certified Worker Performance:

but there are basic challenges to their adoption
But there are basic challenges to their adoption:
  • If you have NOT used any of the certifications mentioned, why not (check all that apply)?
    • I don’t know enough about these certifications – 36%
    • These certifications don’t reflect the skills I need – 33%
    • Not enough applicants have these certifications – 22%
  • Awareness, availability and relevance all must be addressed
a majority would value a more consistent national system of industry certifications
A majority would value a more consistent, national system of industry certifications

How important would it be to you that certifications were part of a consistent national system with industry-recognized standards?

other skills seen as important
Other Skills Seen as Important

Please rank the importance to your company of other skills/topics that could be covered as part of a national skills certification system:

Inventory/Production Control

Regulatory Compliance


Six Sigma

Lean Manufacturing

Total Quality Management

indiana aml companies are optimistic about the future
Indiana AML Companies are optimistic about the future

In the next 12-24 months, do you believe the workforce in your organization will:

Expand – 57%

summary of findings
Summary of Findings
  • Employee readiness is a major issue
  • Companies still not engaged in industry-wide solutions – in-house training still emphasized
  • Existing training programs/certifications not recognized as leading indicators for hiring
    • Lack of awareness
    • Attitude that “certifications do not reflect the skills I need”
  • However, industry beginning to see the need for a new approach – as skill demands and training costs rise, need a competitive solution
  • A national system of relevant, consistent credentials would be well-received
  • Certifications must be crafted with ongoing industry feedback and promoted to employers
breakout discussions
Breakout Discussions
  • What are the best ways to engage employers in the credentialing process, increasing meaningful input?
  • Can Human Resources procedures be reshaped to emphasize and create a preference for industry-approved credentials? How can this best be accomplished?
  • Has the time come for regional training centers? Should specialized high school courses be designed for technical/vocational training?