Manufacturing Skill Standards Council ®-901 N Washington St. Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314




Federal Board Officially Recognizes MSSC – National Skill Standards Board (NSSB) announces formal recognition of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) ® as “Voluntary Partnership” of companies, labor and education capable of reaching 40% if the manufacturing workforce. Under the National Skill Standards Act, MSSC accepts responsibility for developing a nationwide system of industry-led standards, assessments and certifications for all sectors of manufacturing.  MSSC focus:  core skills and knowledge for production and production-support technicians, entry-level through first line of supervision.


Federal Board Endorses Skill Standards – NSSB officially endorsed MSSC standards for the major concentrations of manufacturing:  Production; Quality Assurance; Logistics & Inventory Control; Maintenance, Installation and Repair; Health, Safety & Environment; and Product Process Development.  These legally defensible standards were developed and nationally validated with the assistance of 700 companies, 4000 front-line technicians, and 300+ subject matter experts, with the support of $5 million in federal funds and $4 million in in-kind industry match.


Production Assessments Completed – In collaboration with the National Occupational Competencies Testing Institute (NOCTI) and Raytheon Professional Services, MSSC develops an assessment based four production modules defined by MSSC standards:  Safety; Quality; Production Processes; and Maintenance.  MSSC pilots 1600+ assessments, sets cut scores for each module.


Credentialing Process Begins – To create industry-recognized, nationally portable credentials, MSSC begins to issue “Recognition Awards” to individuals who pass each assessment and “MSSC-Certified Production Technician (CPT) ®” to individuals who pass all four original assessment modules. 

MSSC Center Authorization – At Launch Event in Grand Rapids MI in 2005, MSSC announces certification program for Assessment Centers, with NOCTI training for site coordinators and proctors.  Proctors trained also to deliver assessments at remote locations, such as company training centers.

Glencoe McGraw-Hill Publishes Textbook – MSSC works with Glencoe McGraw-Hill to publish illustrated 425-page textbook based on MSSC standards, entitled High-Performance Manufacturing:  Portable Production Skills, together with a ”Manufacturing Applications Manual” and “CD-ROM for Instructors.”

WI Governor Doyle Sets Statewide MSSC Goal – Announces goal of MSSC certification for 40% of WI production workforce over 10 years as part of state jobs strategy.

IN Governor Daniels Sets Statewide MSSC Goal – Includes in his Strategic Skills Initiative a goal of having 30% of IN high school and community college manufacturing majors MSSC certified in 10 years.

U.S. Department of Education Adopts MSSC – ED selected MSSC standards as the basis for its “Career Pathways” in manufacturing.


MSSC Endorses Courses – MSSC endorses courses developed by the IN Labor Institute for Training and Amatrol based upon the MSSC standards.  Courses use a “blended” learning environment using both instructor-led units and on-line units based on computer simulations. Beta testing of 100+ dislocated workers and high school students demonstrates effectiveness of courses in dramatically improving assessment scores.

MSSC Endorses Instructor Certification Training Program – MSSC endorses instructor certification program developed by the IN Labor Institute for Training and Amatrol.  Program includes 3-day intensive training, 3-volume Instructor’s Package, and access to on-line material.        

Texas Public Schools Adopt MSSC Courses – TX Education Agency (TEA) conducts technical review and approves MSSC course as authorized “Innovation” course for use in Junior of Senior Years.

NAM Supports MSSC Certification System for Production Technicians– At National Press Club, National Association of Manufacturers CEO John Engler announces NAM support for MSSC training, assessment and certification program for the core skills of all production technicians.

DOL Adopts MSSC Framework – USDOL’s Employment and Training Administration announces a “Core Competencies Model for Advanced Manufacturing” based upon MSSC standards and used as guidelines for applicants for ETA training funds.


Supply Chain Logistics Certification System Development – Under a grant USDOL grant to the North Central TX Workforce Board, MSSC begins work on a standards, training and assessment system leading to entry-level certificates (Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) ®) and mid-level certificates (Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) ®) for front-line technicians throughout all supply chain facilities: production, warehousing, distribution, and transportation.  

MSSC Partners with State Tech College Systems – MSSC reaches course offering agreements with the WI Technical College System and IN Ivy Tech Colleges.

IN Public Schools Embrace MSSC – IN schools authorize use of MSSC course in public school system.

VA Authorizes Use of CPT – VA approves MSSC application to have its assessments authorized for use by veterans to secure CPT certificates.    


Launches 10th Anniversary Marketing Campaign – With March 2008 marking MSSC’s 10th anniversary, MSSC uses occasion to announce release of new assessment and other systems upgrades to MSSC community of companies, associations, schools, unions, state and federal agencies.

Companies Use MSSC Certification as a Recruitment Tool – A growing list of companies take position that they will take MSSC Certifications into account in recruitment decisions.


First-ever Certification System for Front-line Material Handling Workforce in Supply Chain Logistics Deployed – On January 14, at the Pro Mat 2009 International Logistics Show organized by the Material Handling Industry Association, MSSC launches new, industry-led training and credentialing system for front-line material handling technicians in supply chain logistics.  Individuals are assessed for two MSSC credentials: the foundational-level Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) certificate and mid-level Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)Certification.  CLA is a prerequisite for CLT.  These credentials address the core technical competencies of higher skilled, front-line material handling technicians (entry-level to first line of supervision) throughout the global supply chain. 

MSSC developed the CLT system under a USDOL grant to the North Central Texas Workforce Board, in partnership with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) for that state.  Hillwood Alliance Global Logistics Hub (a Perot company) played a key role in recruiting subject matter experts from over 50 leading logistics companies to develop CLT.

NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System Launched – On March 4, NAM President John Engler announces the formation of a new NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System.  Not itself a certifying body, NAM endorses five well-established national certifications as the “Founding Partners” of this new System:  ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), MSSC CPT, the National Institute for Metal Working Skills (NIMS) machining credentials, the American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welder credentials, and the certification programs of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

MSSC shares NAM’s view that this new system will help employers strengthen employee recruitment, training and retention.  The NAM-endorsed certifications will strengthen technicians ability to be mobile in the workforce and compete for high level jobs across all sectors in manufacturing.  And, educators can ensure competency-based curriculum aligns to career pathways for students and transitioning technicians, leading them to industry-recognized, national certifications.

Leadership Establishes “20/20” Vision – The MSSC Board and Leadership Council redefines MSSC’s long-term vision to scale back from the original NSSB mandate of certifying 40% of the nation’s production workforce in 10 years to a more realistic level.   They set a more clear-eyed “20/20” vision, i.e. assessing 20% of the front-line manufacturing production and material handling workforces in 20 years.

MSSC Certification Scheme Committee Meets ANSI-ISO Needs – At its September 2009 meeting, the MSSC Executive Board forms a new MSSC Certification Scheme Committee (CSC) to meet the ANSI-ISO Standard requirements for a “scheme” committee to oversee the development and maintenance of MSSC’s CPT and CLT certifications.

To meet those responsibilities, the CSC, chaired by Dr. John Rauschenberger, Chair of the original MSSC Steering Committee, completes work in mid-November on a comprehensive Policy and Procedures Manual for Certification of Individuals.  In addition to meeting ANSI-ISO requirements, this Manual further standardizes MSSC policies for standards, assessment and credentialing nationwide.


Job Corps Aligns Material Handling and Distribution Ops Program with CLT – USDOL’s Job Corps and MSSC complete a joint effort to align the Material Handling and Distribution Operations (MHDO) Training Achievement Record (TAR) with the CLT program.  In addition to this alignment, Job Corps trains over a dozen instructors for CLT and officially includes CLT training and certification in the MHDO program.

National Experts Panels Begin Annual Updates of MSSC Standards – To ensure that its standards reflect current best practice in industry, MSSC starts its first annual meetings of National Experts Panels of leading subject matter experts (SMEs) for both its CPT and CLT Certifications.  These meetings confirm validity and currency of MSSC standards for both certifications and added useful updates. 

USDOL Commissions MSSC to Develop New “Green Production” Module – Under a Stimulus (ARRA) grant to the Communications Workers of American (CWA), MSSC is contracted to develop a new Green Production Module as an addition to the CPT certification system.  As with the other CPT modules, it focuses on enhancing the skills of front-line production technicians in all sectors of manufacturing using green-related processes.

USDOL Grant Opens Nation’s Leading Logistics Hub to CLT Certification – Under a Stimulus (ARRA) grant to San Bernadino Community College District, MSSC receives funds to provide CLT training to 500 technicians in Southern CA.  Grant includes the key players in the logistics complex (representing 46% of the nation’s logistics traffic) from the Port of Long Beach (four times larger than any other U.S. port) the along the Alameda Corridor up to San Bernadino, one of the nation’s largest intermodal hubs.

Major MSSC Conferences Take Place in Indiana and Texas – In June, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Ivy Tech, and the IN Manufacturers Association join to sponsor a well-attended conference at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis to accelerate the state-wide adoption of MSSC, especially CPT.  In September, the North Central Texas Workforce Board, supported by the Texas Workforce Commission, sponsored a well-attended “North American Workforce Summit,” focused on accelerating the adoption of MSSC, especially CLT. 


VA Authorizes Use of CLT – In May, the VA adds CLT to approved list to have assessments authorized for use by veterans to secure CLT certificates. Veterans can now use their G.I. Bill funds to cover the costs of both CPT and CLT assessments.

SCL Certification Network Established – In June, MSSC joins four other leading supply chain logistics organizations to form the SCL Certification Network.  This Network is a group of well-established U.S.-based, non-profit associations that provide industry-recognized, nationally portable certifications for the professional and frontline workforce and organizations involved in global supply chain and logistics—in factories, warehouses, distribution centers and transporters. 

The other Charter Members are The Association for Operations Management (APICS); the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L); the Institute for Supply Management (ISM); the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC); the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC). 

Network Members will work collaboratively to raise awareness within industry, education and government of the world-class, complementary services of these associations that, collectively, help meet industry needs for highly skilled technicians at all levels in supply chain logistics and for certified warehousing facilities.  Together, the Network members offer a certification career pathway and “stackable” credentials helping individuals to achieve ever-higher levels of professionalism and responsibility. 

President Obama Announces Goal to Train 500K Manufacturing Workers – On June 8 at Northern Virginia Community College, the President announces an initiative to credential 500,000 manufacturing technicians with industry-recognized certifications within five years.  The initiative is to be implemented through a close partnership between industry, education and the National Association of Manufacturers.

As one of the Founding Members of the national Manufacturing Skills Certification System endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential will be an essential tool in the effort to meet this goal.  MSSC is pleased to see this joint action from industry, education and the public sector to grow a skilled manufacturing workforce within the framework of a robust nationwide program with macro-economic impact. 

“AE” Designation Added to Full-CPT and CLT Credentials – On October 1, MSSC adds the designation “AE”, for “Accredited Edition” to its full-CPT and full-CLT credentials to certify that the programs are ISO-compliant.  The name change reflects that the credentials represent a new version of MSSC certification with new characteristics in compliance with ISO requirements such as recertification. 

Green Module is Complete – On October 17, MSSC formally launches the new CPT-Green module at a national event in Dayton, OH.  The new Green Production Module (GPM) is a fifth module in the CPT program, but will not be required to earn full-CPTAE certification.  As with other CPT modules, GPM is based upon national industry standards and includes curriculum, textbook, e-learning, instructor training, assessments and a certificate.

NAM endorses CLT – In October, the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers  announces new partners in the development of the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics career pathway in manufacturing.  The pathway begins with MSSC’s foundational Certified Logistics Technician (CLTAE) certification.  In addition to CLT, the pathway of stackable credentials also includes those offered by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics and APICS, The Association for Operations Management. 


ANSI Accredits CPT and CLT under ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024 – On January 4, ANSI announces its accreditation of MSSC’s certification programs under the Institute’s Accreditation Program for Personnel Certification Bodies.  The accreditation is for both CPT and CLT.  Accreditation by ANSI creates a valuable distinction for MSSC’s credentialing programs. This value extends through the service network – from certification body, to certification holder, to employer, to the public served. CPT and CLT are the only certification programs in the manufacturing and logistics industries to earn this recognition.