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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Secretary Presents Wisconsin's Strategies to Develop Talent, Address Manufacturing Skills Gap with Great Lakes Region

State's industry certification programs take center stage during panel discussion in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson joined national leaders from workforce and educational system at a forum in Indianapolis hosted by Ivy Tech Community College to examine strategies to close the manufacturing skills gap in the Great Lakes Region.

Secretary Newson joined leaders from industry, workforce and education for a national conference titled Industry Certifications: Closing the Manufacturing Skills Gap In the Great Lakes Region. The briefing was hosted by Tom Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College to examine links between nationally recognized industry certifications and a skilled workforce.

Secretary Newson joined Don Gogan, Vice President at Harley-Davidson Motor Company; Stephanie Borowski, President of GPS Education Partners; and Dr. Bryan Albrecht, President of Gateway Technical College for a breakout session titled Statewide Deployment Model: Wisconsin.

"I am pleased to join our partners in Wisconsin to showcase our successful strategies to develop talent and equip workers with industry-recognized credentials to thrive in good-paying jobs and help employers address their need for skilled workers," Secretary Newson said. "States across the country are actively looking at Wisconsin's portfolio of talent-development programs such as Wisconsin Fast Forward, Registered Apprenticeship and Youth Apprenticeship as they seek ways to advance best practices."

Secretary Newson also discussed Wisconsin's use of the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) in partnership with Wisconsin employers. The NCRC was developed by ACT to test competency in applied mathematics, locating information, and reading for information. This certificate is complemented by KeyTrain modules that provide remedial instruction in the three areas to enable someone to increase their skill level.

The NCRC forms part of the Wisconsin DWD's emphasis on increasing the use of portable, industry-recognized credentials. The state's 2013-15 budget includes language requiring all high school juniors to take the ACT and WorkKeys examination. DWD is moving to market the NCRC to employers to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the increasing number of job seekers within the state who have received an NCRC.

In addition to studying deployment practices in Great Lakes states, the Executive Briefing also centered on certifications through the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Institute’s, including the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification, and offered a preview of the new National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) national certification for Industrial Maintenance workers.

The MSSC, NIMS, Great Lakes Manufacturing Council and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers joined Ivy Tech as conference supporters.

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