MT1 Presented as Benchmark for Industry Certifications.

RICHMOND, VA – The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI), the workforce development affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturing Institute and Micron Technology met with the Basque Government Deputy Minister for Vocational Education and Training Jorge Arevalo, and his advisors, last week in Northern Virginia to demonstrate innovative industry-education partnerships using the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certificate program to close skills gaps. The meeting included a factory tour at Micron Technology and discussions with representatives from Northern Virginia Community College and the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Institute.

The Basque delegation learned how the MT1 certificate program is being used to document an individual’s mastery of the critical competencies required for modern manufacturing production and production-related occupations. To date, there are 16 MSI academic partners in Virginia serving as authorized MSI Assessment Centers. MT1 Certified Trainers deliver the industry-endorsed and nationally recognized MT1 certificate program through the MSI Assessment Centers.

The Basque delegation is contemplating the increased use of industry certifications to re-industrialize the Basque Country in Spain. The Basque Country of Northern Spain has 2.1 million citizens, served by three universities, 120 centers of Higher Vocational Education and Training (HVET) and 9 centers for specialized higher education. The HVET vocational schools offer diplomas with academic and professional value, as well as occupational certificates. The Basque vocational education system also benefits from the work of a dedicated innovation Center for Innovation and Vocational Education and Training (TKNIKA) that rolls out demand-led innovations through the HVET system in both public and private institutions. The Basque Country has developed a robust network of vocational education and training institutions to train workforce to fill manufacturing jobs.

The MSI industry-education partnership increases access to credentialing opportunities for Virginians to close the workforce skills gaps. The initial focus of the partnership is to expand the MSI Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1) certificate program as a baseline credential for Virginia’s 6,000 manufacturers as well as integrating it into degree pathways and dual enrollment opportunities so that the emerging workforce has the 12 critical technical skills that are fundamental to occupations in advanced technology industries.

Current Virginia partners are: Blue Ridge Community College, Community College Workforce Alliance (John Tyler Community College and J. Sargent Reynolds Community College), ECPI University (Glen Allen, Manassas, Newport News, Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach), Mountain Empire Community College, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Southside Virginia Community College, Tidewater Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College and Virginia Western Community College.

About MSI: The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) provides relevant education and skills training for careers in advanced manufacturing by offering world-class training programs delivered by MSI and MSI education partner institutions. 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. Employer-specific customized training can be provided onsite or at any MSI education partner location. Working learners advance their manufacturing technology knowledge and skills via OJT classes, classroom-based and online training offered by MSI and education partner faculty grounded in real word experience.

About VMA: The Virginia Manufacturers Association is the only statewide association exclusively dedicated to manufacturers and their network of service providers. Since 1922, the VMA has exclusively served as Industry’s Advocate™, and our mission is to create the best business environment in the United States for world-class advanced technology businesses to manufacture and headquarter their businesses for maximum productivity and profitability. The VMA also supports a broad array of business services and programs to help ensure that manufacturing companies can be productive, profitable and competitive in Virginia. Virginia’s more than 6,000 manufacturers employ more than 230,000 individuals, contribute $41 billion to the gross state product and account for more than 86% of the state’s exports to the global economy.

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