• 2017 Annual Report

    2017 Annual Report

  • Podcast - MT1 Program information

    Podcast - MT1 Program information

  • Dream It. Do It. Virginia

    Dream It. Do It. Virginia

  • Vision 2020

    Vision 2020

  • Associate Partner

    Associate Partner

 Man reaching over and working on machinery

Advancing the manufacturing technology
skills of tomorrow, today.

The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI), the workforce affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA), is recognized as a “Competency Model in Action” by the Competency Model Clearinghouse. The Competency Model Clearinghouse is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The goal of the clearinghouse is to inform the public workforce system about the value, development, and uses of innovative competency models. According to the USDOL ETA, a competency model provides a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do – the knowledge, skills, and abilities – to perform well in a specific job, occupation, or industry. Read about MSI’s Competency Model.

Innovation and technological advances are rapidly transforming US manufacturing. Production is being streamlined and processes automated.  The skills required of “advanced” manufacturing workers have likewise evolved. The resulting “skill gaps” have produced 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs nationally. The MSI helps manufacturers to grow, attract and retain the workforce necessary to remain competitive in today’s competitive global marketplace.

The industry-led Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) is the workforce development affiliate of the non-profit Virginia Manufacturers Association.  It provides relevant education and skills training for careers in advanced manufacturing by offering world-class training programs delivered by MSI partner institutions, the MSI Academic and Workforce Partner Network.  Through the partnership between industry and education, employers set the skill standards for MSI program offerings anywhere offered to ensure learning is linked to employment and career advancement opportunities.

MSI and MSI partners work to reduce employer hiring costs, increase the pool of qualified applicants and enhance the baseline skills of the workforce. Using MSI Workforce Solutions, partners create a “manufacturing work ready” workforce by closing interest and skills gaps in the talent pipeline. Collectively, the MSI network of academic and workforce partners: (1) deliver foundational training and certification; and (2) promote career awareness and planning while helping to re-image advanced manufacturing careers.

Foundational Training and Certification

The MSI’s “flagship” certification program, the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) ©, addresses the core industry-wide skills standards required for skilled production occupations in all manufacturing industries. The MT1© certification “stacks” upon the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and can be awarded up to six (6) advanced standing credits toward higher education degrees with specific educational institutions. The MT1© is also included in the National Association of Manufacturers Skills Certification System.

Promoting Career Awareness and Planning

From making jets fly to creating life-saving medicine, careers in advanced technology industries offer exceptional pay, opportunities for advancement and skills that can be transferred across multiple industries.  Whether you are already employed, getting ready to leave the military, or looking for a career change, the advanced technology industries in the manufacturing sector have career opportunities waiting for you. To find out more visit our the Dream It. Do It. Virginia website: to learn about careers in advanced manufacturing, camps and academies offered near you and what employers are hiring and looking for your skills!

“Industry credentials simplify the hiring process and they save us $ in overtime and lost productivity. Employees participating are more knowledgeable and confident in manufacturing operations. Improved hiring, on-boarding and job specific training has translated into improved safety performance and productivity.”

– DuPont Protection Solutions, Richmond, VA

August 3, 2016  WATCH:A dozen DARS consumers participated in a five-day manufacturing academy at the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center to obtain knowledge and skills required in the manufacturing industry. Academy participants interested in a career in manufacturing can look into WWRC’s 20-week training program that prepares consumers with the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain nationally recognized credentials.