The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has awarded a new cooperative agreement as part of the 2019-NIST-MSE-01 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
Workcred, Inc., an affiliate of ANSI, will receive an award totaling $498,845 for Research Examining the Return on Investment (ROI) of Manufacturing Credentials. As a result of a 2018 project funded by NIST, Workcred released a first-of-its-kind national manufacturing research report, Examining Quality, Market Value, and Effectiveness of Credentials in the United States. 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. Most manufacturing organizations, even if they were hiring workers with specific credentials, could not state how the credential may be positively affecting the success of the organization. Based on the findings of the initial study Workcred assessed that more data is needed to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of a credential. Research examining the ROI of credentials in the manufacturing space will give manufacturers a better understanding of how credentials can serve as an important resource in identifying skilled workers. In a two-year study, research will evaluate the ROI of existing manufacturing related credentials, with a focus on credentials used in the operations/production aspects of manufacturing. Small and Medium sized Manufacturers will be selected from clients of Centers in the MEP National NetworkTM to represent a range of manufacturing sectors, facility sizes and geographic regions. This research project will be carried out by Workcred and its subcontracted experts in collaboration with staff from NIST MEP. The period of performance is 10/1/2019 to 9/30/2021 totaling $498,845 in federal funds.