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Employers in the manufacturing industry use credentials inconsistently, generally not relying on them as a major factor in hiring or promotion decisions, according to the results of a survey conducted by Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an operating unit of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The survey's 945 respondents from across the industry identified several primary reasons for their inconsistent use of credentials, including a lack of awareness, a preference for on-the-job training and a recognition that experience is a more valuable predictor of performance.

More than half of respondents (55 percent) said industry-specific certifications were most often used when assessing potential hires. Another 11 percent said a certificate earned at an apprenticeship, followed by 7 percent who pointed to certificates earned at a career and technical high school. Among the 15 percent of respondents who answered "other" to this question, the most common write-in responses were experience and college degrees.