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Ready Indiana offering key MSSC certification program to Hoosier employers

Monday, October 24, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new partnership is targeting the workforce skills shortage plaguing Hoosier employers and workers.

Ready Indiana, the workforce education initiative of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, is now offering the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) training and certification programs to Hoosier companies. The offering is unique to Indiana -- no other organization in the state has such a partnership with MSSC.

Employers are able to purchase a flexible, affordable and in-house training program through a business-to-business model, allowing employers to put a do-it-yourself training strategy into place. Previously, MSSC certifications were offered only through the community college system and employees typically went off-site for training.

MSSC is a nationally-recognized certification that focuses on the core skills and knowledge needed by front-line employees in all sectors of manufacturing and logistics.

"Continuing to develop the traditional education pipeline is important, but we also know focusing on that alone won't meet Indiana's workforce skills challenge. This initiative addresses incumbent workers and employers," Ready Indiana Executive Director Kris Deckard stresses.

Through employer surveys and conversations, Ready Indiana learned that a majority of employee training is done utilizing in-house instructors at an annual cost of $500 per employee or less. Those were the criteria for this new partnership.

"The Indiana Chamber is offering the MSSC courses most ideally suited for effective use by industry employers," affirms Leo Reddy, MSSC chairman and CEO. "The 'Fast Track' and other fully online courses enable busy front-line workers to secure training without being taken out of day-to-day operations."

Adds Deckard: "Our goal is to get more employers engaged. This MSSC program is a simple and convenient way for them to show support for their employees' skill development -- and it reduces training time and turnover."

Highlights of the new offering include:

Training is completed online and onsite.

One employee will be trained to serve as an instructor to assist other employees as they complete the courses; a learning management system is provided for instructors to track trainees' progress and to distribute coursework online.

Certifications are transferrable and portable, allowing employees to keep the credentials when they change organizations -- thereby giving employers a pool of qualified applicants to choose from statewide.

Training is accelerated for experienced workers (versus students) and instructional costs are reduced, making the training program sustainable for employers.

The MSSC certification will be recognized for college credit; companies are encouraged to incorporate MSSC training into tuition reimbursement policies and on-the-job training.

Ready Indiana will be available to provide technical assistance through to the evaluation for participating employers.

Gov. Mitch Daniels on the importance of the program: "MSSC-certified workers can help Indiana to be more competitive in attracting high-wage, high-skilled jobs. (MSSC's) efforts in improving workplace safety and productivity are appreciated."

For more information on the program or to purchase the business-to-business model, visit the Ready Indiana website at www.readyindiana.org/MSSC or call executive director Kris Deckard at (866) 444-1082.



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