“Skill Boss” Takes the Guesswork Out of Hiring for Advanced Manufacturing Positions

Skill Boss is a fully-functional, tabletop-sized mechatronics system designed to assess over 60 performance-based, industry-relevant skills.  Industry is currently struggling to find individuals with the requisite skills for today’s advanced manufacturing environment and Skill Boss provides proof positive of an individual’s abilities, allowing them to be hired with confidence.

The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), a non-profit, industry-led, training, and certification organization, along with Amatrol, the leader in skill-based training systems, developed Skill Boss as an assessment tool, based on industry-defined and federally-endorsed standards.


For years, industry has counted on MSSC’s nationally recognized credential, Certified Production Technician (CPT), as a method to ascertain an individual’s skills and manufacturing knowledge.  Now, MSSC’s new certification, CPT+, provides additional validation that an individual has the hands-on skills to make them productive as soon as they walk onto the production floor.


“When individuals apply for a production position at GE Appliances, those with CPT certifications rise to the top because we really believe that they have shown a commitment to working in manufacturing, and have mastered core competencies they need to be successful in the workplace. Incorporating this hands-on component, Skill Boss, with its great accompanying academic program, is going to be just the icing on the cake.  And we believe that it will demonstrate to employers that individuals, who graduate from CPT+, have the skills and the knowledge to begin their careers in advanced manufacturing.” – Lindsay Miller, Human Resources Manager at GE Appliances, a Haier company.


Certifications allow companies to hire individuals with confidence in workers’ proven skill sets.  Too many jobs are going unfilled, especially in manufacturing, because employers encounter applicants who do not have the skills needed. Figuring out whom to hire, with no degree or experience as guidance, often means no job. 


“I was in manufacturing for over 30 years, and spent 15 years as a plant manager, where I experienced the inability to hire the proper people coming in the door at the entry level…Skill Boss is the real deal. Whether you’re in high school, employed, or out of work, it is going to give you the tools to get over that particular hump.” Bruce Dickson, CPT instructor.


In order to provide industry-relevant skill assessments and training, Skill Boss features components commonly found in today’s manufacturing facilities, such as an electric motor, belt drive, programmable logic controller (PLC), variable frequency drive (VFD), human-machine interface (HMI), robotic pick-and-place system, and sensors used to inspect and sort blocks for different attributes. As part of Skill Boss assessments, individuals will display various skills in safety, quality, production processes, mechanical knowledge, machine operation, and maintenance awareness.


“Manufacturing executives often tell us that they can’t find people with the requisite skills, yet many companies and schools don’t have the financial resources or physical space to build training centers. The computer-controlled, portable Skill Boss, more interactive than a robot and just 20 inches tall, solves that problem. I am also convinced that this exciting trainer will attract many more young people to begin careers in advanced manufacturing.” Paul Perkins, CEO at Amatrol, Inc.


Certifications take a lot of guess work out of the hiring process. Even with a college degree, a certification adds weight to a hiring decision, speaking to measurable competence and motivation, which all hiring managers want. Many jobs require technical skills, yet too few graduates have them. To bridge this gap, MSSC’s vision is to train, assess, and credential 40% of America’s production workforce over the next ten years.


“Manufacturing executives have argued for decades, and still argue, that they need more workers with deeper technical and creative problem-solving skills to be competitive in global markets.  While we’ve made progress over the years, much more work needs to be done. That’s where the Skill Boss comes in – this is a cost-effective and portable machine that high schools, community colleges and manufacturers can use to train people to excel in a digital environment.”Leo Reddy, retired U.S. diplomat who leads MSSC to bolster the nation’s economic competitiveness. On June 14th, 2017, Leo received the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s coveted Lifetime Achievement award.



About Amatrol

Amatrol is the world’s leader in skills-based, interactive technical learning, creates innovative learning solutions for industry and education that are used to build a highly-skilled, well-informed workforce for careers in advanced manufacturing, industrial maintenance, and many more. The company’s comprehensive learning solutions are used across a diverse field of industries like automated manufacturing, iron and steel, CNC, HVAC, oil and gas, green energy, packaging, and mining to name a few. Made in the USA, Amatrol’s learning solutions include hands-on training equipment featuring real-world, heavy-duty components, interactive multimedia and print-based curriculum, and virtual trainers. Amatrol is located at 2400 Centennial Blvd., in the Northport Business Centre. For more information on Amatrol, visit www.amatrol.com.


Manufacturing Skill Standards Council

MSSC, a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, is the nation’s leading certification body for the core technical competencies needed for front-line work in both manufacturing and logistics. It prepares individuals to earn a Certified Production Technician (CPT) or Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) certificate demonstrating proficiency. It delivers its training and testing through a network of some 1880 MSSC-trained instructors and 1000 assessment centers, mostly in community colleges and high schools, in 49 states. MSSC publishes the semi-annual Manufacturing and Logistics Skill Index, which ranks states by the number of people with CPT and CLT credentials and helps companies decide where to locate a factory or distribution center. For more information on MSSC, visit  www.MSSCUSA.org




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