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How Veterans Get the Job Done in Manufacturing

Oct. 1, 2015
While life-and-death situations rarely occur in the workplace, the character and skills of veterans are what we need in the business world.

Is there a question on your HR application that says, "Can you rescue fellow employees from imminent danger while you are injured?"

What about, "How quickly can you assess a volatile situation, devise a plan and implement it?"

While these questions are never asked during an interview, they get at core leadership characteristics.
And it so happens that there are many potential employees who embody these traits: veterans.

You have only to look to the recent example of August 21 when two veterans, U.S. Air Force Airman Spencer Stone and Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, tackled an armed, would-be terrorist on a train in France. Skarlatos heard the sound of a magazine being jammed or changed out and immediately alerted Stone and his friend Anthony Sadler to the danger. They sprang to action to subdue the gunman, and although Stone was bleeding from both his neck and thumb, he immediately attended to another wounded passenger.

When I heard of these heroic acts and learned that two veterans were involved, I wasn't surprised. We all understand the dedication, training and character of the men and women in our branches of the military.

And they have proven their abilities many times over.

Read the full article “Want Employees with Courage, Agility and Ability? Hire Veterans” on MH&L, an Industry Week companion site within Penton's Design and Manufacturing Group.

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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