U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia visited the headquarters of NIMS in Fairfax, Virginia recently for a signing ceremony designating NIMS as a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) for the new Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP). IRAPs were part of the blueprint for moving apprenticeships forward that was developed by President Donald Trump’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion that AMT, NIMS, NAM, and dozens of other associations across industries have championed.
Raytheon Technologies will be the first company to develop its new IRAP using NIMS as an SRE. Here is the news release.
IRAPs differ from Registered Apprenticeships in three very specific ways:
IRAPs are only available in the advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and IT industries; all other industries, notably construction, will maintain Registered Apprenticeship programs.
IRAPs are competency-based programs, while Registered Apprenticeships are time-based. Instead of requiring an individual to serve a four-year apprenticeship, the individual can complete their apprenticeship in two years or so by earning NIMS credentials along the way, demonstrating their competency via exams and performance measures.
IRAPs take the responsibility of the paperwork of the Registered Apprenticeship program off the employer and place it on the SRE, and as a result, incentivizes companies to launch apprenticeships again.
NIMS has been in the midst of a five-year plan to build smart standards, credentials, and performance measures across our industry’s job functions as follows:
5-axis machining (funding by DOD)
CAM (funding by Autodesk)
Industrial technology maintenance (funding by the IvyTech Community College System in Indiana)
Machine maintenance repair and service (funding by AMT)
Dimensional measurement (currently in the regional validation process; funding by Boeing)
Industry 4.0 (currently in the regional validation process; funding by Festo)
Additive manufacturing (currently in development; funding provided by America Makes and a grant from the state of Ohio)
For more information about Smartforce Development initiatives, visit www.IMTS.com/smartforce/.