Today we honor and celebrate all of our men and women Veterans and thank them for their dedication and service to our country.
Hiring veterans is the focus of the Get Skills to Work coalition, a collaboration sponsored by General Electric that combines manufacturers, educational institutions, and veterans advocates to prepare our soldiers for manufacturing careers. The coalition is part of Fast Track for Heroes, sponsored by the U.S., a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce Foundation.
According to the website "Get Skills to Work is a coalition of manufacturing companies and community and technical colleges committed to recruiting, training, and retaining veterans in long-term careers in advanced manufacturing and other disciplines. Get Skills to Work reached more than 100,000 veterans with resources to help them prepare for and enter into advanced manufacturing careers. The founding partners included GE, Alcoa, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, LinkedIn, TechShop, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the VA Center for Innovation (VACI) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and more. "
In this video, Gary Sinise describes the mission of the program:
Veterans often have training and skills in technology that are crucial to the high-tech factories of today. What they lack in specific certifications can be gained through on-line and on-site coursework offered by various technical schools and colleges. Many manufacturers offer in-house training to ensure the veterans have the job-specific skills they will need to succeed.
The GSTW website features some great tools for veterans transitioning to civilian life in manufacturing. One tool matches the veterans MOC (military occupational classification) with job skills and creates “badges” of certifications so employers can identify the candidates that fit their employment profile. The site also has an assessment tool to help veterans identify careers that match their experience and interests.
The program launched in 2012 and has already made an impact. James Bolding, a disabled Air Force Veteran, is an example of the program’s success. James knew he wanted to pursue a job in the oil industry but lacked the right skill set to get hired. Using the GSTW resources, James found a training program in his state and drove several hours each day to attend classes. He received his certification in Instrumentation and Control systems and now works an Instrument Technician in his hometown.
We owe a great debt to our returning veterans. Manufacturing companies will find these warriors bring a dedication and determination to succeed. It is in their DNA. Companies should take advantage the inherent strengths that are built into these brave and loyal people who have served our country so well.
For more information about how you can become involved, use the resource links below.
Get Skills To Work - website with access to job skill assessment tools, job listings and training centers.
Tech Shop – Training resources for veterans.