The Good Word on NIMS from the Gene Haas Foundation

“The growth and passion I have seen in in manufacturing education and credentialing in only a short time has been amazing.”


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Kathy Looman from the Gene Haas Foundation made the following remarks at the ribbon cutting at the new Gene Haas Education Center at NIMS, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.

I have over 30 years in machine tool industry, and yet I felt most days like I belonged to a secret society. When I told people what I did for a living in manufacturing, they would ask me “what’s that?” They had no idea about metalworking, machine tools, or manufacturing. They had no idea what I, as a woman, could possibly be doing in this business.

I think that this unfamiliarity with manufacturing, with metalworking, with where stuff comes from, this is one of the reasons that the skills gap has occurred and why it is a major problem for us today. No one was telling the young people that manufacturing was a viable career opportunity because no one knew it themselves. And so the perceptions we all know—manufacturing is like that grainy black and white Charlie Chaplin movie— these perceptions are what is in the mind’s eye of students, their parents, and even the unemployed that could find a great career in manufacturing, if only they knew.

But this isn’t a sad story. Exciting things are happening these days. The past few years, I have been able to take my manufacturing experience and put it to work promoting manufacturing education- the growth and passion I have seen in a short time has been amazing. We at the Gene Haas Foundation believe that NIMS, The National Institute for Metalworking Skills, is the glue that is connecting education, industry and workers. By providing a foundation for manufacturing education based on nationally recognized skills credentials, NIMS is also a catalyst that provides assurance to employers, candidates and skilled workers that the skills that we need in today’s high- tech manufacturing jobs are there in the credentialed employee.

To read a continuation of Ms. Looman’s comments, click here


Originally posted on PMPAspeakingofprecision.com blog.