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Recruiting Veterans for Manufacturing Careers

Want something carried out with military precision? Ask a veteran! Well-trained and well-disciplined, our troops know how to follow specific protocols, yet think on their feet when they need to. It makes perfect sense that military veterans, experts at both precision and improvisation, are an excellent fit for the modern manufacturing industry. In fact, veterans may be the key to bridging the skills gap plaguing manufacturers.

What is the skills gap? Manufacturing is an ever-evolving industry, with new technologies, processes, and challenges developing all the time. All of this new information and new technology is creating a need for workers who can fill skilled manufacturing jobs and keep up with the changes, transforming along with the industry. There is a wealth of manufacturing jobs available, but it’s hard to find the right people to fill those positions. That’s because manufacturing executives are looking for people with technology and computer skills, technical training, problem-solving, and math skills. There’s a call for earlier and better STEM education for our students, but that doesn’t provide the skilled workers that companies need right now. Without these workers, they’re not able to implement new technologies, expand, and innovate the way they’d like to.

Because veterans are often cross-trained in multiple skills and have experience in many different tasks and responsibilities, they can be an invaluable asset for employers. They are organized, adaptable, and disciplined, and know how to work as part of a team. Unfortunately, veterans seeking jobs are hired at a rate that lags behind the employment rate for non-veterans. Employers often miss the opportunity to tap into this rich source of talent because they don’t understand how to translate military experience into workplace qualifications.

That’s what organizations like Operation New Uniform™ (ONU) are stepping up to facilitate: the preparation of military veterans to fit into jobs where they’re needed. ONU, a Jacksonville-based business founded in 2014, works to help veterans to transition successfully into new careers once their service has ended. By training veterans and helping them develop new skills, ONU helps produce confident veterans poised to succeed in their communities. In fact, 97 percent of the veterans who have come through ONU’s program have gotten jobs within four months. What’s more in the six years ONU has been active, the organization has served 298 veterans and made a $6 million impact on Jacksonville.

Because they’re organized, self-disciplined, confident, and dependable, veterans make extremely competent employees, in general. But what makes them well-suited for manufacturing, specifically? Veterans are quick thinkers, and that’s what’s needed in an industry that moves at a rapid pace. Some of the traits that make veterans ideal for manufacturing jobs include:

  • The ability to quickly pick up new skills and learn new concepts
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Leadership capabilities
  • An understanding of the importance of teamwork
  • Grace under pressure
  • Respect for rules and procedures
  • Knowledge of global and technological trends
  • Strict adherence to health and safety standards

Understanding the amazing pool of talent available among our nation’s veterans, how can companies tap into it? First, work on branding and visibility, helping veterans to see the possibilities and benefits inherent in a manufacturing career. Work with organizations focused on integrating veterans into the workforce, and be clear about job requirements, to ensure the personnel you attract are a good fit for the jobs you need to fill.

Sometimes talent acquisition in manufacturing jobs is challenging because the day-to-day operation of a business requires focused attention and energy. That’s why it’s important to have a partner who can help you find the right candidates and build your team. At Progressive Reliability, we are committed to providing high-quality hiring experiences for our clients and the talent we engage. We specialize in finding quality talent, sending experienced and reliable candidates for direct hire so that you can complete your exceptional team. We work to find the right professionals for your company, with the skill sets and traits that will align with your business goals and company culture.  Contact us or call 888-252-3122 for more information.

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