Tag Archives: skills gap

Veterans are Ready and Willing to Fill the Skills Gap

veterans skillsgap

Could the solution to the manufacturing industry’s skills gap be patiently waiting in plain sight? The possibility is appreciable when you consider the U.S. workforce has a ready demographic who possess prior experience working with technology and machinery. This is a group who is trained in precision, leadership and discipline. The demographic is veterans; a group former Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls, “one of the most underutilized talent pools in our country.”

Veteran’s Cross-Functional Skill Set

Teamwork

Responsibility

Perform under pressure

Trustworthy

Integrity

Comfort with diversity

Critical thinking

More and more companies are looking for ways to incorporate the hiring of veterans into their workplace, including hiring managers within the manufacturing industry who are discovering the cross-functional skills this group offers. Such benefits include prior experience working within defined processes and workflows while having the ability to improvise and apply critical-thinking skills. The group is experienced in working with technology and comfortable using frequent application of problem-solving and math skills, all which have complementary applications within the manufacturing industry.

Making the Transition

Despite possessing transferable skills, currently veteran-related employment lags that of the employment of non-veterans. This is due to several factors such as the need for buy-in from management before hiring and an experienced mentor/adviser who can translate Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) codes into comparable open positions within a company, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce. Mentoring from former military personnel can also ease the transition as veterans move from military to civilian life.

Ready Pool of Candidates

2 million post-9/11 veterans

250,000 service members transition out of the military every year for the foreseeable future

1 million+ veterans currently in college

100,000 veterans graduate from college each year

Two-thirds of veterans will leave their first post-military job within two years

George W. Bush Institute

In addition to employing individuals who’ve been schooled in the transferable skills of leadership, flexibility, discipline and teamwork, companies who employ veterans can also take advantage of tax credits. The Returning Heroes Tax credit offers a maximum credit of $5,600/veteran hired, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers businesses hiring individuals with service-connected disabilities a tax credit of $9,600/veteran.

Future Investment

Manufacturing companies that are interested in exploring the hiring of veterans in their manufacturing operations are encouraged to host a booth at a local military job fair. This is a way to meet veterans face-to-face while increasing the visibility of manufacturing jobs that demonstrate the positive changes within the industry.

This article is brought to you by The Cleveland Deburring Machine Company. CDMC can provide a deburring solution for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, automotive deburring, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom deburring applications. 

 

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Solving the Skills Gap by Putting Veterans to Work

veterans in manufacturing

While manufacturers are hyper aware of the US skills gap mentioned in previous posts, it’s not something the public is familiar with. More than 80 percent of manufacturers report they cannot find people to fill their skilled production jobs. And while there are plenty of millennials in need of jobs, the manufacturing industry relies on the type of loyalty and devotion to a company that is necessary to withstand extensive skills and safety training. Unfortunately, current working culture influences the majority to jump companies in search of advancement. In some industries, this is without much consequence; our industry is an exception.

As a country, however, we are extremely loyal. We understand the value of American manufacturing, treasuring the knowledge that our products are made at home. To mend glaring contradiction between American values needs and workforce culture, it is clear the industry must attract quality candidates with the existing or transferable skills necessary to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

The self-evident solution to the problem is to unleash the power of our most loyal and underutilized workforce demographic: Our military Veterans. Each month, thousands of servicemen and women transition to civilian life who demonstrate both technical aptitude and exceptional work ethic.

Technical Skills

As arguably the strongest military in the world, who is more acquainted with advanced technical machinery than the United States armed forces? Our service members’ skills are easily transferred as they are taught how to operate and maintain state-of-the-art equipment. Not to mention, they understand the consequences of failed machines.

Trusted Reliability

Veterans know how to accomplish tasks on-time despite any mounting pressure or stress. They have a proven track record of coming to work every day and persisting through tedious tasks. When faced with adversity, they search for guidance and resources rather than giving up. They are willing to work hard for great rewards. This results in learning complicated skills and concepts faster than the average new employee.

Respect for Procedure

Manufacturing, much like the military, is heavily grounded in procedure–and for a good reason. Both can potentially be dangerous if certain precautions are not taken. While we can teach technical skills to almost anyone, it is much harder to teach respect for procedure and protocols. Veterans are meticulous about health and safety standards making them an ideal employee in manufacturing.

Leadership and Teamwork

The military trains our soldiers in both how to take directions and give them. They are taught to lead by example and help one another. Moreover, they have the experience of working in diverse teams with people of different religions, ethnicity, and social classes. This ensures fewer team-related issues and a more productive workforce.

Right now, the people who have served our country with dedication and loyalty are searching for jobs at an even greater rate than we are searching for employees to fill the gaps. It seems there is not a better match. Often Veterans struggle to reintegrate sometimes having never written a resume or interviewed with an employer while serving in the military. This makes finding a good job difficult. Nevertheless, they have years of transferable experience and incredible skills. In the manufacturing industry, we should place a premium on their experience and take notice of the high value they bring to the table.

The Cleveland Deburring Machine Company can provide a deburring solution for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom deburring applications. Our no-charge application evaluation includes a detailed report and process description in as little as 3 to 5 business days. Contact CDMC today for a deburring machine that’s right for you.

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Are Apprenticeships the Answer to the Manufacturing Skills Gap?

apprenticeship

Now that the inauguration is upon us, it will be interesting to see what form the campaign promises will take. A recent article in the Washington Post clarified what many working and hiring in the manufacturing industry already know. The manufacturing jobs referenced by the political candidates are in many ways relics of the past manufacturing era. These are largely categorized as blue collar-jobs not requiring specialized tech skills.

Manufacturing is Tech-Enabled

The need for high-tech, advanced skills is a cornerstone of the new era of manufacturing employment. Modern factory jobs include the use of robots and lasers making each manufacturer a software company in its own right. These jobs are difficult to fill because many schools and training centers are not yet equipped or ready to offer this level of training, creating the reality of the skills gap for manufacturers across the U.S.

Trying Out Apprenticeships

In response, a growing number of companies who have specific hiring needs are looking at the creation of their own apprenticeship programs. Much like a sporting team that begins recruitment and skill growth at an early age, manufacturing is looking for its future workforce as early as high school. In a variety of work-study programs, students have the ability to combine traditional high school studies with work at a company during the school day or directly after school.

While the idea of apprenticeships is not a new concept, its use largely fell out of favor with the decrease of manufacturing jobs overall. Global companies, many of them with a long tradition of apprenticeships in their native countries, are looking to revive the concept in the U.S. as they look to fill a growing number of tech-related manufacturing jobs.

Creating a New Path

The revitalization of apprenticeships offers students another option when it comes to continuing education. One of the best things about this old-is-new option is that it often comes with the bonus of having a job waiting after completion. The other bonus is that the apprenticeship option usually comes with less of the debt advanced university education can carry with no guarantee of work after graduation.

Changing Mindset Required

For now, one of the biggest lies may be that the path to success must include university education. For a growing number of high school graduates the idea of more time in school is less than desirable. Instead of trying to pigeonhole current and future generations into a tried-and-true that doesn’t always work, wouldn’t it be more effective to explore solutions that could benefit both the individual and the manufacturing industry as a whole? Only time will tell…

 

The Cleveland Deburring Machine Company can provide a deburring solution for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom deburring applications. Our no-charge application evaluation includes a detailed report and process description in as little as 3 to 5 business days. Contact CDMC today for a deburring machine that’s right for you.

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