FMA Precision Sheet Metal Operator certification program added to NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System

November 11, 2011

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) is pleased to announce that it is partnering with The Manufacturing Institute to bring precision metal fabrication certifications to the NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification Systems (SCS). The partnership adds FMA's Precision Sheet Metal Operator (PSMO) certification program to the SCS offerings.

The Manufacturing Institute is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). NAM is the largest U.S. industrial trade association, and represents small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector in all 50 states.

"The content of the PSMO program is extensive and has been developed over a period of years by a dedicated task force of industry professionals," said Jim Warren, FMA's director of education and membership. "The certification validates that the employee who passes the exam has a solid grounding in the science and math behind the technology. It focuses on the fundamentals of metal fabrication like blueprint reading and math calculations and assesses the basic knowledge needed for working with press brakes, shears, lasers, or other precision fabricating equipment."

"The majority of manufacturers we survey lament the difficulty they have in hiring properly skilled employees. Now is the time to expand the SCS and the educational pathways to careers in all sectors of our manufacturing economy. And, we know there are many high skill career paths available in metal fabrication," says Emily Stover DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute.

"After careful consideration by the SCS Approval Committee, we were pleased to extend an invitation to the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International to join the system, with FMA's Precision Sheet Metal Operator certification program," says DeRocco.

The Manufacturing Institute established the SCS to develop the nation's science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-capable workforce for advanced manufacturing. Among the goals of the partnership with FMA are:

  • To align these nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials with educational curricula and pathways in grades K-12, and in community colleges' and four-year colleges' programs of study that lead to high-wage, high-growth technical careers;
  • To provide information on these educational pathways that lead to advanced manufacturing or automation career pathways, to help connect students and workers to lifelong learning and advancement opportunities; and
  • To ensure that advanced manufacturing employers and automation professionals recognize the value of these credentials in their recruitment, screening and hiring processes by recognizing, preferring or requiring nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials.

"The FMA is proud to have its Precision Sheet Metal Operator certification program join other nationally portable, industry-recognized technical skill certifications," said Ed Youdell, FMA's president and CEO. "This will make it possible for the curriculum to be adopted by community and technical colleges throughout the U.S., and by providing career pathways it will help to alleviate the crippling skilled labor shortage that employers in our industry have struggled with for several years."

More information about the FMA's Precision Sheet Metal Operator Certification is available at and in the FMA Booth (#6000) at the FABTECH exposition beginning Nov. 14.

Rockford, Ill.-based Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) is a professional organization with nearly 2,300 members working together to improve the metal forming and fabricating industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events, industry trade publications and the FABTECH® trade show. FMA also has two technology affiliates: the Tube & Pipe Association, International (TPA), which focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating, and the Green Manufacturer Network (GMN), which serves the employees of companies that are focused on improving their utilization of green technologies.

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501 (c) 3 affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers. The Institute focuses on developing human capital strategies through education reform and workforce development, conducting applied research to provide critical information to public policy makers on challenges and opportunities for today's industry, and advancing the innovation capacity of manufacturers operating in a global market. Visit