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Manufacturers: Learn how to Cut Hiring Costs, Improve Training

By John Feeley

Front Range Community College

Manufacturers in northern Colorado can learn how to cut hiring costs, improve training quality, and become more profitable at a Breakfast and Learn event Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, at Front Range Community College.

James Wall, executive director of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, will cover those topics as well as NIMS credentialing and competency-based apprenticeships. NIMS has recently introduced industrial maintenance credentials, so the talk is appropriate for all manufacturers.

Representatives of a local company that has sponsored an apprenticeship in machining and an FRCC student who earned nine NIMS credentials also will speak at the event.

The event is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Classroom Building of the Boulder County Campus, 2121 Miller Drive, Longmont. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Metalworking trade associations formed NIMS in 1994 to develop and maintain a globally competitive workforce. NIMS sets skills standards for the industry, certifies individual skills against the standards, and accredits training programs. They have recently worked with the U.S. Department of Labor to convert apprenticeships from time based to skill and competency based standards.

FRCC’s Precision Machining Program at Advanced Technology Center at the Boulder County Campus has national accreditation from NIMS.

Accreditation means:

  • Instructors have earned NIMS certificates in the skills that they teach.
  • Instructors are working machinists.
  • The machine shop is safe by OSHA standards and includes well-maintained, modern, industrial equipment.
  • The curriculum is aligned to teach skills that machining employers nationwide have decided are required.
  • The student/teacher and student/machine ratios are low enough for effective learning.
  • The program advisory board, composed of local employers, is active and provides oversight.
  • Technical and professional skills (soft skills) are taught.
  • NIMS has awarded FRCC students over 50 skill certificates. The certificates provide employers with an indication of the student’s skill level as a possible job candidate.