Manufacturers Launch Coalition To Train Veterans

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 12:07pm

NEW YORK -- The Manufacturing Institute joined GE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa and other business, digital, academic and not-for-profit partners today to launch a new coalition that aims to train military veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing, bolster the talent pipeline and enhance American competitiveness.

The Get Skills to Work coalition will focus on accelerating skills training for U.S. veterans; helping veterans and employers translate military skills to in-demand advanced manufacturing positions; and, empowering employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans.
The Manufacturing Institute will manage several elements of the Get Skills to Work with financial and in-kind support from GE, Alcoa, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. These initial investments will help 15,000 veterans translate military experience to corresponding advanced manufacturing opportunities and gain the technical skills needed to qualify for careers in this growing sector.  The coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015. Companies and veterans interested in joining this effort or learning more can visit

“The Manufacturing Institute is proud to be partnering with GE and other committed employers to make their investments in veterans and workforce training have a real impact in communities across the country, “said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. “Working with our partners, we will help create real opportunities for transitioning service members to get the skills they need to access in-demand manufacturing jobs.” 

“Manufacturers across the country are facing a critical shortage of skilled workers.” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.  “With more than half a million manufacturing jobs going unfilled, closing the skills gap is a top priority for manufacturers and the nation.”

Get Skills to Work will expand successful talent matching and development programs designed by the Institute.  Working with Futures Inc., a technology company from Raleigh, North Carolina, the Institute has created a digital “badge” system to help translate applicable Military Occupational Specialty codes (MOS), the U.S. military’s system for identifying jobs, to civilian positions in advanced manufacturing. Skills matching and badge distribution will be supported by, a centralized online hub that connects manufacturing employers with veterans and National Guard and Army Reserve members. To help prepare individuals whose military service experience doesn’t immediately qualify them for available manufacturing jobs, the Institute and other partners will work with local community and technical colleges to establish the Institute’s Right Skills Now for Manufacturing program, which fast-tracks attainment of industry-recognized certifications and offers training in core technical skill areas.  This program was initially launched in Minnesota with support from the Joyce Foundation.

These efforts will also contribute to the Institute’s and their partners’ national goal of issuing 500,000 industry-based credentials by 2016, positioning individuals for employment and advancement in manufacturing jobs. With as many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs going unfilled today, this goal is an important step in getting unemployed Americans back to work and maintaining the competitiveness of our manufacturing economy.

Other organizations partnering with the Institute to expand Right Skills Now are:
ACT-ACT is a founding partner of Right Skills Now.  The National Career Readiness Certificate, administered by ACT, verifies that Right Skills Now participants have the foundational academic and career skills needed to pursue the technical training portion of the program and be successful in manufacturing jobs.  ACT will work with the Institute to expand Right Skills Now to other community and technical colleges as part of the Get Skills to Work coalition.

National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS)- NIMS is a founding partner of Right Skills Now.  The machining and metalworking credentials administered by NIMS make up the technical training portion of Right Skills Now.  NIMS will work with the Institute to expand Right Skills Now to other community and technical colleges as part of the Get Skills to Work coalition.

American Welding Society (AWS)- the skills included in AWS’s Certified Welder certification cover priority technical skills in welding that are in immediate high demand for manufacturing jobs.  AWS is working with the Institute to incorporate these skills into the Right Skills Now accelerated training model.
Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC)-the skills included in MSSC’s Certified Production Technician (CPT) credentials cover priority technical skills in production that are in immediate high demand for manufacturing jobs.  MSSC is working with the Institute to incorporate these skills into the Right Skills Now accelerated training model.

About Industry-Based Credentials
The Manufacturing Institute pioneered the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, a system of stackable credentials that validate the skills and competencies needed for in-demand manufacturing jobs.  These certifications and credentials can be attained in high school, community college, and four year college programs. The certification partners that comprise the System are ACT, the American Welding Society, the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, International Society of Automation, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Institute, the International Fluid Power Society, the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the American Society for Quality, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International; APICS The Association for Operations Management, the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, and the North American Die Casting Association.

About The Manufacturing Institute
The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501 (c) 3 affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers. The Institute is the authority for manufacturing on the attraction, qualification, and development of world-class talent. Visit


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