FVCC Adopts National Credentialing into Machining Programs

Beginning this fall, Flathead Valley Community College machining students will have the opportunity to earn nationally-recognized National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credentials.

NIMS credentials are used by metalworking companies as standards for recruitment, hiring, job placement and promotion. Students who earn certain credentials have the advantage of qualifying for the relevant benchmarks. Conversely, employers who utilize the credentials are assured the NIMS-certified employees are qualified with the necessary skills to successfully perform job duties.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to become more prepared for their next steps, whether they plan to enter the workforce with new careers or advance in their jobs,” said Machining Program Coordinator Lloyd Haugen. “This will make our students even more employable. This is a win-win for our students and our area employers.”

Haugen, who recently completed NIMS training through the two U.S. Department of Labor’s two Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants, is now certified to conduct trainings for the first 10 NIMS certificates. This fall, Haugen will utilize his certifications to train FVCC’s machining faculty to earn the credentials so they can become certified NIMS trainers. Additionally, the college will integrate the NIMS standards into the three advanced manufacturing’s machining certificates. Students who complete any of the three certificates will be equipped with the knowledge to test for specific NIMS certifications.

Testing for each NIMS certificate will involve a written theory exam and, in most cases, a project based on NIMS specifications. The projects will be completed at FVCC in the college’s newly-renovated machining bay. A local committee of manufacturers will be selected to review each of the projects produced prior to the students passing their certifications. Employers also will be given the opportunity to send qualified employees to FVCC to test for certification by summer 2015.

Montana manufacturers and businesses are invited to participate in a free online WebEx informational program presented by Mike Blizzard of NIMS August 14from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The presentation will provide employers a more in-depth understanding of the benefits of the integration of NIMS credentials into Montana colleges’ machining programs.

In addition to the integration of NIMS, FVCC will launch its first semester of online manufacturing coursework this fall, providing students the opportunity to complete a Machinist Technician Certificate of Technical Science online.

For WebEx login help or for more information, contact Jori Bullemer, FVCC advanced manufacturing navigator, at 756-3905 or jbullemer@fvcc.edu.

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