Industry-Recognized Credentials

As the United States emerges from the effects of this past recession, many nagging questions continue to confront policymakers. Chief among these is, “Why are so many people unemployed and underemployed while businesses in many industries continue to struggle with finding skilled workers for unfilled jobs?”

In order to ensure an educated and skilled workforce for their companies, many industries have successfully developed and implemented industry-recognized credentials to connect individuals to the skills they need to enter into and advance in jobs. In order to better understand this landscape and develop initiatives to address the skills gap, Business Roundtable gathered information from major industry associations about both the current and potential use of nationally portable, standards-based, industry-recognized skills credentials.

The resulting inventory catalogs a number of skills certifications tied to competency models that national industry associations are issuing to help businesses identify workers who possess the skills and competencies necessary to perform in high-growth occupations. The type, scope, use and delivery of these credentials are as diverse as the industries that employ them. The commonalities that exist within the wide range of industry credentials include national portability, a foundation in industry-developed standards and recognition by industry – attributes that contribute to their labor market and consumer value.

Inherent in these skills credentials is the identification of the knowledge, skills and abilities required in jobs within specific sectors and industries. This approach sets the stage to better align education and training to career success, as well as to create educational pathways from high school to community colleges and four-year career-focused majors in universities, which are directly connected to employment.

Additional information is available for industry-recognized credentials in the following economic sectors: