The report provides insights on how credentials are used and valued by the manufacturing industry at a time when U.S. manufacturers report a skills mismatch. With nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely to be needed over the next decade, 2 million positions are expected to go unfilled, a major U.S. workforce challenge, according to a .
The report, Examining the Quality, Market Value, and Effectiveness of Manufacturing Credentials in the United States features recommendations for multiple stakeholders including manufacturers, credentialing organizations, educators, accreditors, and policymakers.
The study revealed that credentials have uneven use in the manufacturing industry and are not routinely required or used as a major factor in hiring or promotion decisions. Many manufacturers do not know what credentials are available or how they are relevant to their workplace. Often, they do not view credentials as the most relevant tools to identify new skilled personnel or as incentives to improve the quality of their existing workforce. Notably, manufacturers believed that credentials could serve as a critical resource if they were better understood and made more in line with skills needed in their facilities.
Credentials, increasingly recognized as valuable solutions to the skills mismatch, can vary from certificates and certifications to licenses, degrees, badges, and microcredentials. For the U.S. manufacturing industry, increasing the quality of credentials can help increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and performance of the labor market—and improve the quality of the U.S. workforce.