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Metal Trades/Metal Manufacturing

Instructor Luke Edwards

Metal Fabrication pathway is designed as a secondary program for preparation to enter the field of metalworking. The Metal Fabrication program includes an introduction to the basic machining metalworking processes as well as an introduction to the basic welding profession. The purpose of the course is to prepare students to continue study in a postsecondary metals program (Welding or Machine Tool Operation) or to begin work at the entry level in a metal occupation. The machining courses in this curriculum is written to the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credentialing standards and the welding courses are written to the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification standards.


Industry Certification


The NIMS is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that was established in 1995 to help develop industry standards to maintain the United States’ global competitiveness. NIMS sets industry standards and certifies individuals who meet the quality requirements contained in the industry standards. NIMS also accredit training programs and facilities that meet NIMS quality requirements. The NIMS organization and standards are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the metalworking field.


NIMS metalworking standards reflect expertise in areas such as stamping, press brake, roll forming, machining, tool and die making, mold making, screw machining, and machine maintenance and repair. All NIMS standards are industry written and industry validated and subjected to regular, periodic reviews under the procedures accredited and audited by ANSI.  


The NIMS Level 1 credential consists of bench work, layout, milling, drill press, surface grinding, and lathing between centers. The students are required to perform a NIMS-approved project in each area in order to attain credentialing in those areas. The student must be able to complete the NIMS project with 100% accuracy before being allowed to take an additional online written test. Once both the performance evaluation and the online test are administered and passed, the student will receive a NIMS certification for each area successfully completed, i.e. bench work, layout, milling, drill press, surface grinding, and lathing between centers. The NIMS organization awards credentials for each area of competency in the Level 1 module after successful completion of projects and written tests.
NIMS credentials are used throughout the United States by industry to recruit, hire, place, and promote individual workers. NIMS may also be used to measure performance of individuals pursuing metalworking careers. Articulation may be established using the NIMS credentials for articulation among training programs.


Students who study basic machine metalworking processes may pursue, at their cost, a certification with the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Inc. (NIMS). Students who study this curriculum may pursue certification of the NIMS Level 1 standards for machining. Attaining this certification is an option for the student; therefore, the student is responsible for the financial costs attributed with achievement of the certification.


This curriculum has also been aligned to modules in the Contren program as endorsed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). Students who study this curriculum using the CONTREN materials under the supervision of an instructor who has been certified by the NCCER are eligible to be tested on each module in the welding area. Students who successfully pass these tests may be certified to the NCCER by the instructor and will receive documentation from NCCER. The Manufacturing welding curriculum framework is aligned to the NCCER Core and Welding.