Last week, The Manufacturing Institute’s latest Heroes MAKE America class at Fort Riley, Kansas completed their 10-week career skills program. The program is aimed at connecting manufacturers with highly qualified veteran candidates and arming those transitioning service members with the exact in-demand qualifications and industry-specific certifications they need to not only find a perfect manufacturing career but excel in it.
Sergeant First Class Christopher Fernandez shares why he chose the Heroes MAKE America program and why he looks forward to joining the manufacturing industry.
How did you hear about the Heroes MAKE America program and why did you sign-up for the course?
I heard about the Heroes MAKE America program through the U.S. Army Soldier for Life–Transition Assistance Program. They were conducting post wide briefings on Career Service Programs for personnel leaving the military.
What was your biggest takeaway from the program?
My biggest takeaway is the opportunity to network with the companies we toured. It was a great advantage to see the personnel in charge of HR as well as managers throughout the various manufacturing companies.
Why do you think veterans are so successful in manufacturing?
It’s our reliability, discipline and our drive for success.
How has your vision of manufacturing changed since being a Heroes MAKE America soldier student?
At first, I had zero knowledge on what manufacturing was all about. The Heroes MAKE America program gave me insight on how relevant these businesses are and how these companies want to hire veterans to work for them.
What makes you most excited for a future in manufacturing?
It’s the possibility of making a difference. I don’t want to limit my ability to make a change with just the Army. The military has taught me a lot of transferable skills that I can implement within any manufacturing company.
Is there anything else you think people should know about the manufacturing industry?
There are a lot of opportunities for anyone to be successful in manufacturing.