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Phoebus High becomes Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) academic partner

Phoebus High School and the Burton Center for Arts and Technology – Roanoke County High Schools are the first secondary education MSI Academic Partners in the Commonwealth of Virginia offering the MSI Manufacturing Specialist (MS) and Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certifications.

In June 2015, Phoebus administered the MT1 assessment to technology education students with 11 MT1 certifications and three MS certifications being awarded. Several regional manufacturers plan to give MS or MT1 certificate holders a higher standing in the employment process, and post-secondary education institutions may award college credit to individuals obtaining MS or MT1 credentials.

Through an established MSI Academic Partner Network, the MSI grows the manufacturing capacity of communities through increased use of industry credentials to create a common language for foundational production skills between industry and education.

“We are happy to provide access to the MS and MT1 certifications. Our business community is interested in our students and these certifications, along with experience and great academic preparation, demonstrate they are ready to work in production jobs or continue to post-secondary education leading to many exciting manufacturing careers,” said Jesse W. White, Career and Technical Education director for Hampton City Schools.

It is estimated that 15 percent of Virginia’s current manufacturing workforce is retirement-eligible and more than 65 percent of manufacturing employment openings will be in “middle-skill” occupations, thus requiring a sustainable industry-education partnership to close the existing skills gaps and prepare for the looming retirement “tsunami”.

“Virginia’s secondary education system is fundamental to creating a pipeline of qualified workers to sustain and expand advanced technology industries statewide. The MS and MT1 certifications provide the foundational skills standards for education and training programs to prepare individuals for careers in this industry, and ensure Virginia remains part of the U.S. 
Manufacturing Renaissance,” said Katherine DeRosear, MSI executive director.

The MT1 and MS certifications are included in the National Skills Certification System and have been approved by the Virginia Board of Education as an industry credential for students and faculty. Students can access the credential through Career and Technical Education or STEM programs. Faculty can access the credential directly through MSI or a local MSI Academic Partner.

About the MSI

The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) provides relevant education and skills training for careers in advanced manufacturing by offering world-class training programs delivered by MSI and MSI education partner institutions. Through the partnership between industry and education, employers set the skill standards for MSI program offerings anywhere to ensure learning is linked to employment and career advancement opportunities. Employer-specific customized training can be provided onsite or at any MSI education partner location. Working learners advance their manufacturing technology knowledge and skills via OJT classes, classroom-based and online training offered by MSI and education partner faculty grounded in real world experience. MSI is an affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association. MSI’s Manufacturing Technician Level 1 certificate program is part of the National Association of Manufacturers-endorsed Skills Certification System. For more information about MSI, visit

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