Remembering Our Veterans During Manufacturing Month

It’s Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin. Manufacturing built our state and manufacturing still drives our economy – and will into the foreseeable future. Great initiatives, driven by creativity throughout the state, make it possible for the sector to thrive. One of the best of these initiatives is the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing that connects our veterans with terrific careers in the civilian economy. Our heroes are a reliable source of talent to address the looming worker shortage and deserve our support.

It’s fitting that Wisconsin celebrates manufacturing for an entire month. It is so ingrained in our heritage that manufacturing tools hold a prominent place on the state’s flag. We have the second-highest percentage of manufacturing activity in the country and one in five workers participate in the sector. Manufacturing plays a major economic role and many terrific initiatives will keep it healthy, opening many new opportunities for growth and engagement.

Many veterans face tough transitions to civilian life. More than 15,000 people leave the military every month to start new lives. During their service, they developed a terrific work ethic and unparalleled teamwork skills. We know about their teamwork…their great soft skills…their technical capabilities. We’re less aware that these technical skills do not easily translate into civilian jobs. It’s a chronic mismatch. Solve this mismatch and our heroes are a great source of talent.

The Academy of Advanced Manufacturing (AAM) tackles the mismatch head-on and facilitates veterans’ transition into new careers. The AAM is a joint effort supported by both the Manpower Group and Rockwell Automation. Together, they engage veterans and bring them into advanced manufacturing with the skills required to hold high-paying jobs. The sponsors created a 12-week boot camp where carefully selected recruits receive the training and hands-on experience necessary to fill technician roles in the world of connected devices. This process creates tremendous opportunities for our heroes.

The AAM demonstrates how valuable veterans can be as a source of talent for companies willing to make modest investments. The military provides a constant talent flow and ways to connect to it. These talented people are disciplined and know how to learn new skills. Companies can develop a steady pipeline of talent for their operations with a modest investment, tenacity, and a bit of creativity. Our heroes certainly deserve this effort.

Think about this as you celebrate Manufacturing Month. We live in the greatest manufacturing state in America. We know how to make things and keep the sector thriving with many opportunities for future workers. The AAM provides a template for companies with creativity and a bit of ability to engage our veterans to access a tremendous new talent pool. It promises a great future for our heroes, our state, and each one of us!

Will you be one of those who accept this challenge? Happy Manufacturing Month!

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