Just in time for Labor Day, a new survey released by Advanced Technology Services shows that manufacturing executives prefer veterans as job candidates for a growing number of skilled job openings.
The survey of more than 100 senior manufacturing executives showed 72 percent believe hiring former military would reduce training costs and quickly provide skilled labor currently in high demand. Sixty-three percent of the respondents are already actively recruiting from the military because they bring highly technical skills honed while serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere back to the American workforce, ATS said.
Those surveyed believe former military personnel are a potential solution to the shortage of skilled workers. They said the following skills make hiring former military attractive (in relative order): Work ethic, 81 percent; Discipline, 81 percent; Professional appearance, 70 percent; Dedication to their mission, 70 percent; Leadership attributes, 69 percent; Problem solving skills, 55 percent; and Reading, writing and communication skills, 41 percent.
In addition, disabled veterans were cited by nearly 70 percent of respondents to be even more desirable employees because they are more motivated to achieve success on the job, demonstrate a stronger work ethic and are more loyal than other employees.The survey included executives with titles of CEO, CIO, Vice President and Plant Manager, representing manufacturers across the industry, with revenue from $10 million to more than $1 billion. It included electrical equipment manufacturers, machine tool manufacturers, tool and die manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, cutting tool and machine tool accessory manufactures and more. The survey queried ways these manufacturers could achieve better productivity and profitability.
"We are proud to support our veterans by offering them an opportunity in the civilian sector where their skills and military experience are appreciated," said ATS President Jeffrey Owens. "Twenty-five percent of the ATS workforce is comprised of former military personnel who bring discipline to the work environment, along with integrity, leadership skills, and an excellent work ethic. We aim to have 35 to 40 percent of our workforce represented by former military who will help us improve productivity, decrease downtime, eliminate costs and increase quality at our customer's manufacturing plants."
In a survey of manufacturing executives conducted for ATS last year, a majority of respondents said they anticipate the cost of a shortage in skilled workers will cost an average $50 million per company. Addiitionally, executives said searching for and recruiting skilled workers has become so difficult that 70 percent would outsource an entire department or job function to avoid doing it in-house.