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Veterans Can Address US Manufacturing Skills Shortage

Military-appreciationMay is Military Appreciation Month and, with the numbers of veterans joining the civilian job ranks, a good time to think about hiring a veteran.

Manufacturing is a good fit for many former military and with the current skills shortage in manufacturing, hiring veterans who already have mechanical skills and are adaptable is a great way to address this problem.

According to a new study from Accenture and The Manufacturing Institute, U.S. manufacturers may be losing up to 11 percent annually of their earnings as a result of increased production costs stemming from a shortage of skilled workers.

In the study, “Out of Inventory: Skills Shortage Threatens Growth for U.S. Manufacturing,” 39% percent of the 300 U.S. manufacturing executives surveyed described the shortage of qualified, skilled applicants as “severe,” and 60% said it has been difficult to hire the skilled people they need. More than 50 percent of respondents said they plan to increase their production by at least five percent in the next five years.

Manufacturing.Net has a great article on How Veterans Could Help Manufacturing Fix the Skills Gap. Achieving this endeavor needs a two pronged approach. Veterans will need to be educated about the manufacturing sector and how to obtain the necessary credentials and manufacturers will need to actively pitch to veterans.

Many veterans have a wrong idea about what manufacturing looks like today, and the benefits for pursuing a job within the industry. Advertising manufacturing as a place where veterans can utilize both their learned skills and leadership qualities would go a long way, and it would be an investment guaranteed to get a returns.

GetSkillstoWork-logoManufacturers can show up at military job fairs and heavily promote their companies through many organizations designed to help veterans, such as Get Skills To Work, Hiring our Heroes (A US Chamber of Commerce Foundation), Hire Heroes USA, The White House’s Joining Forces program, and the Wounded Warriors Project Warriors to Work program, just to name a few.

The State of Washington has a non-profit membership that supports a Military to Manufacturing Career Pathway program through the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMP).

For veterans — the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals offers programs that will accredidate graduates as a Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP) or a Certified Maintenance & Reliability Technician (CMRT). These programs test and validate the skills necessary to do maintenance and reliability work, and tell potential employers that the candidate knows the ropes. The best part is that Veterans Affairs via the GI Bill will pay for that certificate, even if they aren’t actively telling future veterans about it.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers also has a program to provide certification through their ToolingU online portal and classes in lean manufacturing for veterans.

We’d like to say thank you to all of our customers who have served – you know better than most that veterans are great employees! We also say thanks to Tribute staff and military veterans Byron Bragg and Dean Dvorak and to the sons of Tim Mellinger and Nina Baker who are currently serving.

Related articles

Honor our Veterans: Offer Them a Job
Get Skills to Work: Training & Placing Veterans in Manufacturing