Marion Technical Institute: Taking strides in getting students industry certified

Industry certification ensures relevance in academic curriculum, and facilitates the creation of “ready-to-work” employees that are prepared to take future challenges by the horns. The Manufacturing Skills Standard Council’s Certified Production Technician (MSSC CPT) certification is a valuable tool that empowers production workers with relevant and current skill- sets. It affords them the opportunity to earn a national certification, and demonstrate skills increasingly needed in the high-growth, technical jobs of the 21st century.

Many schools across Florida have embedded the MSSC CPT certification as part of their curriculum. Marion Technical Institute, a CHOICE Institution located in Ocala is one of them. MTI is a unique institution which allows high school students to earn high school credit, college credit and nationally-recognized industry certification—all at the same time. MTI’s eight career academies offer students opportunities to jump-start their career by combining academics with hands-on experience, bright futures scholarships, business partner involvement, and paid training-related internships.

On September 21, forty-four students from MTI’s Industrial Engineering Technology Academy passed the MSSC certification exam in safety, with a reported 90% pass rate. Additionally, MTI student Geoffrey Rogers-Crocker passed all four sections of the MSSC certification process and earned the CPT certificate.

The MSSC certification has the potential to certify millions of production workers against industry-recognized, federally-endorsed standards. Under this system, new and incumbent workers who pass the four manufacturing-related modules in Manufacturing Processes and Production; Quality Assurance; Maintenance Awareness; and Safety can be awarded the CPT certification. Applicable to all sectors of manufacturing, the MSSC goal is to assess 40% of the nation’s entry-level and incumbent production workforce—a strategy for providing industry with a future pipeline of skilled workers.

The MSSC certification is also embedded into the FLATE-created statewide engineering technology A.S. /A.A.S. technical core that allows students to earn an 18 credit hour college certificate. The MSSC CPT certification combined with FLATE’s Engineering Technology degree and Automation Production Technician program for high school students ensures Florida has a high-skilled workforce prepared to work in advanced manufacturing and high-technology industries.

For more information on MTI contact Michael Fritch, vocational administrator at 352.572.8280/Michael.Fritch@marion.k12.fl.us. For information on FLATE’s ET degree contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at 813.259.6578/barger@fl-ate.org