Veterans enter the civilian workforce every day. Unfortunately, there are more veterans than open jobs—as a roughly 8 percent unemployment rate among veterans indicates.
After bravely serving our country, veterans deserve a hero’s welcome. They also deserve a good job, and manufacturers are stepping up to make that happen. Across the country, manufacturers are looking for ways to introduce veterans to manufacturing and get them to work.
Take Hoerbiger Corporation of America. When the Florida-based manufacturer saw a need for skilled machinists, it saw veterans as a natural fit. As the Sun-Sentinel reports,
[E]arlier this year the company developed a training program to fill the gap and began recruiting veterans.
They tend to exhibit “maturity, discipline, tenacity and an ability to get the job done,” said David Gonzalez, the company’s human resources manager. He recruited veterans in May at the Paychecks for Patriots job fair in Dania Beach.
The result: Seven of the 12 machinists put through the program are military veterans.
To help train these individuals, Hoerbiger turned to another manufacturer and a cutting-edge educational system.
Hoerbiger trained the group with the help of new machine simulation software by Machining Training Solutions, a Longwood, Fla., company operated by Al Stimac, president of the Manufacturers Association of Florida. Ten to 12 workers can be trained at a time with the interactive software.
“My whole concept was to train using the methods that students are used to, such as today an iPad or a computer. The learning curve is reduced drastically,” Stimac said.
There are similar stories across the country. The National Association of Manufacturers through the Manufacturing Institute is working with a number of manufacturers are part of the Get Skills to Work program. This initiative matches the skills veterans received in the military to skills coveted by manufacturers. If veterans need to learn new skills, the Institute and its partners can help them earn those credentials through partnerships with community colleges and other educational institutions.
Manufacturers are helping veterans transition from the military in other ways as well. In addition to its efforts to recruit veterans to its workforce, Whirlpool Corporation recently became the official appliance sponsor of Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit initiative dedicated to building homes for severely injured veterans.
It’s the least manufacturers can do for the men and women who make great sacrifices to safeguard our freedom.