Over the years many manufacturing companies have found that veterans are especially adept at moving from the service into careers in manufacturing.
In an effort to provide the industry-specific certifications needed currently, last week the Manufacturing Institute, part of the National Association of Manufacturers, launched a new veterans training program called Heroes MAKE America.
“The teamwork, commitment to mission, communication and critical thinking skills that are essential to mission success are also essential to manufacturing,” said the Manufacturing Institute.
Heroes MAKE America is a full-time, 10-week career skills program that launched in partnership with the U.S. Army Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program at Fort Riley and the USO Pathfinder Program at Fort Riley, Kansas. The program will have a special focus on hard-to-fill production jobs.
Manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Koch Industries, Arconic, Parker Hannifin Corporation and many others have committed to contributing to the success of the program, as well as hiring veterans upon completion of the 10-week training.
“Successfully transitioning our soldiers from military to civilian life is a priority effort,” said Col. John Lawrence, Fort Riley garrison commander. “Joined by partners such as The Manufacturing Institute and Washburn Institute of Technology, our Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program offers an expanding array of career skills programs. The Heroes MAKE America program, first in the Department of Defense, will prepare and place Soldiers for Life in manufacturing jobs nationally where they can demonstrate their skills and talents translated from military service.”
Filling all types of manufacturing jobs is currently very difficult as more than 80% of manufacturers report a talent shortage. Over the next decade, it is estimated manufacturers will be unable to fill 2 million open positions, and more than 400,000 jobs are open in the sector today
Meanwhile, nearly 200,000 service men and women return home each year. These veterans possess not only sound leadership, strong character, and an exemplary work ethic, but also rigorous technical training and experience, the Manufacturing Insitute points out.
“Heroes MAKE America not only supports our nation’s heroes during their transition to civilian employment but also allows companies to reduce on-the-job training expenses and enhance productivity,” said Manufacturing Institute executive director Carolyn Lee. “Hiring veterans who have earned these key credentials (or who have learned these key skills) is good business, and with this program, manufacturers in Kansas and across the country will have a pipeline of talented workers coming their way.”