Get to Know the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council!

This post is written by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, a Gold Level sponsor of the 2017 Advance CTE Spring Meeting.

The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) is the nation’s leading industry-led training, assessment and certification organization focused on the core technical competencies needed by the nation’s frontline production and material handling workers. The nationwide MSSC certifications, based upon industry-defined and federally endorsed national standards, offer both entry-level and incumbent workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills increasingly needed in the technology-intensive advanced manufacturing and logistics jobs of the 21st century. MSSC applies to all frontline manufacturing production jobs (6 million) and all front-line material handling and distribution jobs (6.1 million). MSSC has developed two nationally portable certifications for this workforce:

Certified Production Technician (CPT): The CPT Certification addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled production workers in all sectors of manufacturing. MSSC awards certificates to individuals who pass any of its five Production Modules: Safety, Quality Practices & Measurement, Manufacturing Processes & Production, Maintenance Awareness and Green Production and a full CPT Certification to those who pass all four core modules (Note: Green is not required for full-CPT certification.)

Certified Logistics Technician (CLT): The CLT Certification addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled, frontline material handling workers in all supply chain facilities: in factories, warehouses, distribution centers and transportation companies. MSSC awards the foundational-level Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) certificate and the mid-level CLT certification. CLA is a prerequisite for CLT.

CPT and CLT are the only national industry certifications, for both manufacturing and logistics, accredited under ISO 17024 (personnel certification) and endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers.

“20/20” Vision

Approved by its Board in 2010, MSSC’s vision is to credential 20 percent of individuals entering or employed in the nation’s front-line manufacturing production and material handling workforce in 20 years—2.4 million workers by 2030. To achieve that goal, MSSC offers industry a new set of tools to ensure that both entering and incumbent workers are flexible, easily trainable, and highly motivated knowledge workers able to keep pace with technological change—the “Industrial Athlete of the Future.”

MSSC benefits to employers include:

  • A pipeline of skilled workers by embedding MSSC certification training into schools
  • Decreased recruitment costs by providing job candidates with industry-recognized credentials
  • Elimination of remedial training costs by providing well prepared workers
  • A new ISO standard in certificates companies can use as a common practice throughout their global operations
  • Increased ROI for training by targeting it against the gaps identified by the MSSC Diagnostic Tool
  • An aid to attracting, motivating and retaining qualified employees

The federal National Skill Standards Board formally recognized MSSC as the standards and certification “Voluntary Partnership” for all manufacturing sectors in 1998 and officially endorsed MSSC’s national standards in 2001 which were developed and nationally validated by 700 companies, 378 educational organizations and most industrial unions. MSSC has since been used by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well as Job Corps and both Federal and State Prison Systems. MSSC is a Founding Partner in the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)-endorsed Skills Certification System, which has endorsed both CPT and CLT.

MSSC provides annually updated standards, courses, computer-based training materials, textbooks, instructor authorization, assessment center authorization, a national registry, assessments, credentials and diagnostic tools for employers. Companies may use these tools themselves or work through their local community colleges, high schools, unions or other training providers. Individuals can also earn college credit for MSSC courses (three hours each for core CPT modules, two hours for GPM and four hours for full-CLT) based upon the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) course review.

MSSC’s delivers these tools through a nationwide network of over 1,760 trained instructors and 998 authorized assessment centers in 49 states, DC, and three centers internationally. To date, MSSC has given over 141,300 assessments and issued over 105,500 credentials.

To obtain a full description of MSSC certification system tools and price sheets, including volume discounts, please contact Neil Reddy, Executive Director, at or at 703-739-9000, ext. 2221.

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