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Veterans, A Solid Labor Pool for the Manufacturing Industry

Last month, we celebrated Veterans Day, a tradition that originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. While it is critical, we regularly recognize these brave soldiers, what we often don’t hear about is the struggle for these individuals to find meaningful work once they leave military service.

Thankfully, that dynamic is beginning to change as organizations across the U.S. look for innovative ways to partner with a variety of veterans groups. Those who do often find many positive parallels between skills learned in the military and the skills necessary to succeed in manufacturing. These include strong technical skills, reliability, respect for process and procedure, and an appreciation for leadership and teamwork, just to name a few.

There is also opportunity in the hiring pool with the veteran unemployment rate sitting at 2.7% in October. This stat was unchanged from the previous month. Tapping into this skilled labor pool of 18.5 million veterans could become even more significant as more Americans search for either a full-time job or look to add a part-time job on the side.

The search for part-time or gig work continues to grow as inflationary pressures are eclipsing wage gains for a growing number of Americans. The October jobs report found the number of Americans who are looking for part-time jobs in addition to their full-time work increased 6%, year-over-year, to 4.5 million people, according to U.S. Labor Department statistics.

A survey from of 1,700 U.S.-based employees found three-quarters of U.S. workers are feeling the pressure to bring in more income because of inflation. Another survey from Prudential Financial found Millennial and Gen Z employees are also considering gig work with 81% of Gen Z and 77% of Millennials looking to supplement their current income with a part-time job.

As they say, the sky’s the limit, and the transferable skills of veterans could be a perfect match for the manufacturing industry today and in the future. Below you can find a list of organizations where you can learn more about working with and hiring veterans within your organization.

Hire a Veteran – U.S. Department of Labor

Apprenticeship USA – Veteran Hiring – A Step-by-step Guide

HR Guide to Hiring Veterans – Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) – Attracting Military Talent

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