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MEET OUR FOUNDER

LEO REDDY

A career public servant and public policy strategist, Mr. Reddy has helped build a variety of institutions (highlighted below) designed to enhance U.S. national interests in both domestic and foreign affairs. Since 2006, he has served as Chairman, immediate past CEO, President and Founder of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC).

 

An industry-led, 501(c)(3) non-profit, MSSC is the nation’s leading training and certification organization focused on the core technical competencies needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers. Mr. Reddy has held this position since 2005. 

In 2023, the CCD Center awarded Mr. Reddy with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his inspiring service to our nation in foreign and domestic policy, education, workforce development, and establishing career readiness as the first priority of American education. CCD Center CEO Eva Mitchell and 2023 Board Chair Dr. Bryan Albrecht honored this prestigious accomplishment with a blog dedicated to Mr. Reddy's impressive career.

Leo Reddy Headshot

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR FOUNDER, LEO REDDY

Under his leadership, MSSC developed four nationally portable certifications and related training programs: The Certified Production Technician (CPT), Certified Logistics Technician (CLT), Certified Forklift Technician (CFT), and Certified Technician in Supply Chain Automation (CTSCA).  In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor has endorsed a MSSC CPT-based 730-hour High school Quality Pre-apprenticeship and a MSSC CPT-based 3000-hour Registered Apprenticeship. The nation’s gold standard for quality in its field, MSSC meets all the criteria recommended by the National Network of Business and Industry Associations in its June 2018 paper, “Quality Assurance for Industry Certifications and Apprenticeships” and supported by The Business Roundtable.  MSSC is the only national industry certification body accredited under ISO quality standard 17024 (Personnel Certification) and endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers for both manufacturing and logistics.

 

Mr. Reddy supported Amatrol, the nation’s leading manufacturer of industrial technician training equipment, in building a highly innovative, hands-on training and assessment device, called “Skill Boss,” for both the CPT and CTSCA programs. Mr. Reddy co-authored two textbooks on logistics for the CLT training program. In 2019, he led a Select Committee of 23 nationally prominent subject matter experts to add nine, newly emerging, “Industry 4.0 Technologies” to the MSSC national standards for CPT: 5G, AI, 3D, Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Autonomous Robots, Data Analytics, Advanced Materials, Augmented Reality, and Nanomanufacturing.   

 

Now an American institution, MSSC delivers its training and certification services through a network of some 2800 MSSC-trained instructors and 1800+ MSSC-authorized assessment centers, most at community colleges and high schools, and technical representatives in all 50 states. To date, the MSSC has delivered 240,000 assessments and has issued some 250,000 credentials to over 100,000 individuals. To serve the economic development community in making plant location decisions in the U.S., the MSSC has developed an “Index” mapping the highest concentrations of MSSC Certificants in communities all over the country.

 

The Manufacturing Leadership Council nominated Mr. Reddy for its prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award,” which was conveyed at a Summit and Awards Gala in Huntington Beach CA on June 14, 2017.  At the invitation of Industry Week, Mr. Reddy wrote a “National Thought Leader” article, entitled “Education 4.0,” for its Manufacturing Day issue in September 2017. Industry Week published an article by Mr. Reddy in May 2020, entitled, “‘Made in America’ Needs an Industry 4.0 Skills Update.” Modern Materials Handling magazine has published a number of articles by Mr. Reddy and about his leadership in logistics workforce training. 

 

In 2015 Mr. Reddy co-authored with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers a report, “Transforming Career Counseling,” which led to the formation of the Coalition for Career Development (CCD) for which he was Co- Chair of the Founders Council. CCD is a broad-based national movement whose goal is to make career readiness the first priority of American education, facilitated by a new cadre of certified School Career Development Advisors. The substantive foundation of CCD is a white paper, “Career Readiness for All Students,” that Mr. Reddy authored and was reviewed at two CCD-hosted Summits on Career Development in Washington DC in 2018 and 2019, publicly released at a press event at the Capitol Visitors Center on April 3, 2019 with Members of Congress. In June 2020, Mr. Reddy spearheaded the transition of CCD into a 501(c)(3) think tank in D.C. called the Coalition for Career Development Center (CCDC), of which he is Chairman of the Board.     

 

Prior to becoming MSSC Chair and CEO, Mr. Reddy was the Founder and CEO of the industry-led, non-profit National Council for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM) in 1990. During his 16-year tenure, NACFAM led the development of various national public-private partnership programs to enhance U.S. industrial innovation and competitiveness, including the federal Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which now has offices in all 50 states, the Next Generation Manufacturing Technology Initiative, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements between Federal Labs and leading corporations, and Advanced Manufacturing programs at the Pentagon. Wikipedia still cites NACFAM as the provider of the most comprehensive definition of “advanced manufacturing.”   

He also was deeply involved in federal workforce development programs. NACFAM received its first grant in this field in 1990 from the U.S. Department of Education to develop skill standards for work in computer-aided drafting and design, secured a second DoEd grant in 1992 for advanced manufacturing skills, and won a national competition in 1997 under the federal National Skill Standards Act to develop MSSC as the industry-wide national standards and certification body for front-line work in advanced manufacturing. MSSC participated in a U.S. Department of Labor grant in 2007 to develop skill standards, training and certification for front-line material handling and distribution work in supply chain logistics.

Mr. Reddy entered the private sector after a highly successful, 28-year Foreign Service career with the U.S. Department of State. A specialist in NATO and arms control affairs, he served on the NATO Desk in the State Department. He also served in a policy leadership and negotiator role on U.S. Delegations to NATO, the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), the Mutual & Balanced Force Reductions negotiations, forerunner to the Conventional Force Reductions in Europe (CFE) Treaty, and the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987. He headed the State Department’s successful INF Treaty Ratification Task Force in 1988.

In October 1988, President Reagan personally conferred the “Meritorious Service Award” on Mr. Reddy for “sustained superior accomplishment in U.S. foreign policy.” (See photo with President Reagan.) In December that year, Secretary of State George Shultz gave Mr. Reddy the “Presidential Award” for “outstanding service.”

 

Following the ratification of the INF Treaty, the State Department detailed Mr. Reddy to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC under the Diplomat-in-Residence program. At CSIS he led and published studies on “NATO Burden Sharing,” which documented the inadequacy of funding from other Allies to support NATO, and on “Defense Reductions and Economic Adjustment.” The latter involved intensive work with leading defense contractors and automation companies to develop a national post-Cold War strategy for building a flexible, "dual use" industrial base able to provide for both defense production and global competitiveness needs. This work led to an invitation from industry to lead NACFAM. 

 

Before entering the Foreign Service, he graduated from Georgetown University (BA and MA), served as an ASW and Gunnery Officer on destroyers in the Sixth and Seventh Fleets, and as an analyst in the Soviet Affairs Office of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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