Published Oct. 16, 2012
The Manufacturing Institute, along with those companies, will manage the Get Skills to Work coalition. It will focus on accelerating skills training; translating military skills to manufacturing jobs; and empowering employers with tools to recruit, hire and mentor veterans.
A training site focused on accelerating skills training for veterans will open in Greenville in 2013.
Reportedly 600,000 high-tech manufacturing jobs remain open in the U.S. and more than 82% of manufacturers report they cannot find people with the necessary skill sets, according to a news release. Meanwhile, 1 million veterans are expected to exit the armed forces and transition to civilian careers over the next four years.
“Today, many veterans are out of work, despite the nation’s growing industrial sector and increased demand for skilled workers,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a news release. “Through this initiative, we have an opportunity to help veterans with extraordinary leadership capabilities better compete for good-paying jobs with a long-term future.”
For the coalition’s accelerating skills training component, the partners will work with local community and technical colleges to establish the Manufacturing Institute’s Right Skills Now program, which fast tracks industry-recognized certifications and offers training in core manufacturing technical skill areas.
The first class of veterans will be enrolled in January 2013 near GE Aviation’s manufacturing hub in Cincinnati, Ohio at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
Throughout 2013, training sites will open in Greenville; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston; Schenectady, N.Y.; Durham, N.C.; Los Angeles; and Evansville, Ind.
Partners will work with their local supply base to ensure the certifications being offered meet the immediate skill needs. They also will work with the nation’s defense and veterans affairs departments, as well as local military transition offices and bases, to recruit veteran participants.
Boeing will continue to train its workers at the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center in Puget Sound, Wash.; the St. Louis Community College in St. Louis; Delaware County Community College in Philadelphia; and through readySC, a division of the S.C. Technical College System in Charleston.
Rick Stephens, Boeing senior vice president of human resources and administration, said Boeing has hired and trained nearly 3,000 veterans in the past 21 months. Boeing uses a website with a military-to-civilian skills translator.
“Based on our experience recruiting and training veterans to work at Boeing, we believe the Get Skills to Work initiative could have a major impact on the hiring of veterans nationwide,” Stephens said in a news release.
The Manufacturing Institute will manage the coalition, along with financial support from GE, Alcoa, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
These initial investments will help 15,000 veterans translate military experience to corresponding advanced manufacturing opportunities. The coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015.
Today, the four founding companies employ approximately 64,000 U.S. military veterans.
For the coalition’s translating military skills to civilian opportunities, The Manufacturing Institute and Futures Inc. created a digital badge system to help translate Military Occupational Specialty codes, the U.S. military’s system for identifying jobs, to advanced manufacturing positions.
Skills matching and badge distribution will be supported by the U.S. Manufacturing Pipeline, an online hub that connects manufacturing employers with veterans. Get Skills to Work will also leverage LinkedIn, on which GE will sponsor an advanced manufacturing “job-posting drive.”
GE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University will develop and deploy a toolkit for employers that will share research and best practices in recruiting, supporting, mentoring and retaining veterans as employees.
It will be available to employers participating in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative and the 100,000 Jobs Mission, as well as the broader business community.
Veterans can also receive hands-on experience with advanced manufacturing technology through a GE and Techshop program in Detroit; Raleigh, N.C.; San Jose, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and New York.
A Get Skills to Work Advisory Council, made of active and retired military leaders, will ensure coalition partners understand the needs of veterans and assist in closing the manufacturing skills gap.