Manufacturers Come Together to Put Veterans to Work

By October 15, 2012Economy

In an era where high unemployment has become the unfortunate norm, it certainly seems illogical that 600,000 jobs would remain unfilled across the country. Yet this is exactly the situation where manufacturers find themselves – a skills gap exists between what modern manufacturers need and the qualifications of the workforce.

But there are is a pool of homegrown workers that are ready to step in and do the work now – our veterans. Today leading manufacturers from across the country announced a program that will help veterans become certified in the necessary skills to fill these manufacturing jobs.

Today the NAM, the Manufacturing Institute, GE, Kennametal Inc., Alcoa, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and numerous digital, academic and not-for-profit partners took part in “The Power of Work,” a forum to discuss the bold new ideas to help bolster the US manufacturing sector, put more Americans back to work and help our nation’s Armed Forces veterans gain the technical skills needed to qualify for long-term careers.

The Wall Street Journal chronicled this very issue in today’s paper and examined the efforts that manufacturers are undertaking to address their employment needs. The article makes special reference to Kennametal Inc., as a prime example of a company employing the methods that the Get Skills to Work coalition will follow.

“That problem resonates for Kennametal Inc., a maker of metal-working tools, alloys and other materials. About 30% of Kennametal’s production work force is eligible to retire within 10 years, said Judy Bacchus, chief human-resources officer at Kennametal, which is based in Latrobe, Pa. Partly because of the need to replace those aging workers, she said, ‘the military has become a more important part of our talent strategy.’ Ms. Bacchus said Kennametal has found veterans to be good at supervising factory-floor production teams, among other posts.”

Modern manufacturing is a sleek, technology driven industry that requires top notch workers – our brave veterans are the epitome of the character and skills that manufacturers are looking for and the NAM and Manufacturing Institute is proud to be part of a program that will join these workers with good paying, secure jobs.

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