July 8

Industry Credentials: Solid First Step on a Career Pathway for Transitioning Service Members

Service members planning to transition back to civilian life can now benefit from a creative program kicked off by President Obama in 2012 and now embedded in the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.  Under this initiative, all the services are now required to provide active duty service members with an opportunity to secure a civilian industry credential while they are still in the service. The purpose is to enable them to make an immediate transition into higher wage and benefit technician jobs in industry.

The industry-led, non-profit Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) is in the vanguard of civilian credentialing bodies providing this opportunity to the Armed Services. MSSC is the national leader in preparing individuals with the core technical competencies to begin career pathways into worlds of advanced manufacturing and supply chain logistics. MSSC offers the Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) training and certification systems that provide a solid technical foundation for over 12 million careers in manufacturing and logistics.

MSSC is the only national certification body officially recognized by the federal National Skill Standards Board in 1998 as the industry organization responsible for defining the industry-led skill standards for front-line work in advanced manufacturing and supply chain logistics.  As a result, MSSC standards define the industry “common language” for preparing people to enter careers into these closely interrelated industries.

In 2012, when the Armed Services began their review of various civilian credentialing programs, MSSC moved to the head of line.  The main reason was that it offered industry certifications in supply chain logistics.  Unlike manufacturing, which is practiced by few in the military, logistics is historically a military science practiced by large numbers of service men and women in all branches of the military.

Logistics is also one of the most critical and exciting areas of the U.S. economy. Advanced, IT-intensive distribution centers, ports, and transportation hubs are now rapidly going up the ladder of technology, offering a wide range of challenging and rewarding careers. Individuals starting at the front-line level can move to the technician level and then to the advanced technical and management levels.  Salaries start at (fill in) and can go up to (fill in).

As of this writing, the Services are beginning to put increasing numbers of service people through training and testing needed to secure MSSC’s entry-level Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) and then the mid-level Certified Logistics Technician (CLT).  These industry-recognized, nationally portable credentials offer the first step on an exciting career pathway that plays a critical role in the strength of America’s industrial base.

-Leo Reddy, Chairman & CEO (MSSC)


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