In January 2018 the Manufacturing Institute, part of the National Association of Manufacturers, launched a new veterans training program called Heroes MAKE America. The goal is to build a pipeline from military to manufacturing careers for transitioning service members, with a special focus on hard to fill production jobs.
The Institute currently has training programs located at Fort Riley, Kansas and Fort Hood, Texas, and plans to continue to expand to additional bases in 2019 and beyond.
And on Nov. 14 the program received further support as Samsung announced it will be a founding sponsor for the program. The investment—the largest in the program to date—will support over 4,000 program graduates across 7 U.S. military bases by 2021. The announcement was made at a Celebration of Veterans luncheon reception at Fort Hood in Texas to recognize the service of our nation’s military members.
“As a company with a Korean heritage, Samsung has always been grateful for the incredible sacrifices made by the U.S. military during the Korean War," said Tim Baxter, CEO of Samsung Electronics America. "Without American support on the battlefield, the Korea of today would not exist, and neither would Samsung.
“As Samsung creates technology to improve and enhance the lives for our customers, we are committed to investing resources that improve the lives of veterans and military families. With the Heroes MAKE America program, we are combining our values of a strong, qualified workforce with our commitment to serving American veterans and military members.”
Heroes MAKE America is a full-time,10-week U.S. Department of Defense approved SkillBridge program that is offered in partnership with the U.S. Army Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program which links transitioning service members to civilian training opportunities.
As part of the accelerated training program, service members will:
• Earn three industry-specific certifications including a Certified Production Technician Certificate, OSHA 10 Certificate, and a Fork Lift Driver Certification;
• Obtain four targeted manufacturing credentials in Safety, Manufacturing Processes and Production, Quality Inspection, and Maintenance;
•Undergo a basic Math and Reading assessment
• Prepare for job interviews in a full week of intensive career training which includes: resume review and writing; behavioral and mock interview training and a personal finance course
•Participate in 10 -15 Manufacturing plant tours
• Network with industry partners
• Receive job placement assistance, both locally and nationally
One of the most beneficial features of the training program is that eligible service members can take the training while they are still on active duty. As an SkillBridge training program, the Heroes MAKE America program becomes their place of duty. Service members are enrolled in class full time, allowing them to be fully engaged in the training program while working toward discovering a rewarding career in manufacturing.
Since starting in January 2018, the program has graduated 56 soldiers year to date, who have landed hundreds of job interviews with an 85% placement rate into companies such as Allergan, Arconic, Cargill, DuPont, Georgia Pacific, Goodyear, Honeywell, Smithfield Foods, Spirit AeroSystems, Stratasys Direct, TUVA, Tokyo Electron, and many more. The program is on track to graduate all 99 servicemembers who have enrolled in the program during 2018.
Sponsors of Heroes MAKE America include Samsung, Arconic, Allergan, Koch, Industries, Georgia Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Invistia, Molex, Guardian Industries, Cooper Standard Foundation, Novelis, National Gypsum, Newpark, Proctor & Gamble, Associated Equipment Distributors, National Fluid Power Association and Vinyl Siding Institute.