GE (NYSE: GE), in partnership with the Manufacturing Institute, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Alcoa Inc., Boeing and Lockheed Martin, today celebrated the accomplishments of the first group of U.S. veterans to complete classes from the Get Skills to Work (GSTW) program.
With an estimated 600,000 open advanced manufacturing jobs across America, GSTW is joining major manufacturers and educators to help close the skills gap through training and skills matching for U.S. veterans. Eleven veterans participated in the completion ceremony at Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center. The event marks an important milestone for the nationwide program, whose goal is to train and match 100,000 veterans by 2015. The program also aims to empower employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans.
Today’s certification ceremony in Cincinnati included veterans who completed accelerated skills training in core manufacturing skillsets. The ceremony featured speakers Gary Sinise, actor & president, Gary Sinise Foundation; David Joyce, president and CEO GE Aviation; O’dell M. Owens, president, Cincinnati State; and Jim Golem, president, Cincinnati GSTW Advisory Board and Director of Human Resources, CTL Aerospace Inc.
“A strong and forward-looking manufacturing industry is central to the long-term health and success of the U.S. economy,” said Joyce. “Veterans embody many leadership qualities that can help drive growth at GE and among our suppliers and community partners. This is an important step in a nationwide effort to help these men and women compete for long-term careers in the manufacturing sector, and ultimately drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness.”
To ensure that the skills training meets the immediate needs of local employers, coalition partners worked with local businesses to develop the Cincinnati State curriculum. This curriculum-building process will be repeated and tailored to each pilot city this year, including Ft. Worth and Houston, Texas; Schenectady, New York; Greenville, South Carolina; Durham, North Carolina; and Evansville, Indiana.
To help fill open positions in the Cincinnati area, local manufacturing firms, including GE, CTL Aerospace, Richards Industries, Meyer Tool, Acuren and Rhinestahl will actively review candidates from this new pool of potential employees.
“Many veterans and employers have difficulty translating the skills gained through military experience into civilian workforce skill sets,” said Dr. Owens. “Get Skills to Work helps ensure that skill sets meet employer needs. As demonstrated by the 11 veterans that completed Cincinnati State’s pilot classes, veterans have great leadership and experience that can easily be adapted to the civilian workplace.”
Gary Sinise, who is a strong supporter of veterans’ issues and a GSTW ambassador, said, “Military veterans have a lot to offer, including a strong work ethic, teamwork, problem solving skills and the ability to perform under pressure. These skills will serve veterans well in corporate America. Today’s ceremony in Cincinnati illustrates that with the proper training and tools, we can provide our veterans support for a smoother transition to successful civilian employment.”
Adam Hemsath, a Cincinnati native, is a veteran who is translating his military skills to civilian employment opportunities. In 2008, Adam joined the United States Air Force (USAF) at Kadena Air Base, Japan. A member of USAF Security Forces for five years, he led the protection of personnel and resources. Adam served in Iraq and trained more than 90 Iraqi security forces. During his service, he earned 13 medals including the Iraq Campaign medal with bronze star cluster. Today, he is part of the GSTW program and pursuing a career in advanced manufacturing at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
“There are various personal and professional challenges when transitioning from military to civilian life,” Hemsath said. “But now that I have completed my MCCS certificate, I can pursue a long-term career with a focus in Industrial Mechanical Maintenance. These skills will give me the competitive advantage that I need in today’s marketplace.”
The GSTW program includes three key pillars:
Accelerating Skills Training
To help prepare veterans whose military service experience doesn’t immediately qualify them for available manufacturing jobs, coalition partners will work with local community and technical colleges to establish the Manufacturing Institute’s “Right Skills Now” program, which fast-tracks industry-recognized certifications and offers training in core manufacturing technical skill areas. Partners will engage their regional supply base to ensure the certifications being offered meet the immediate skill needs of local employers, and will work with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well as local military transition offices and bases, to recruit veteran participants.
Translating Military Experience into Civilian Opportunities
Many veterans and employers have difficulty recognizing and translating the skills gained through military training and experience into civilian workforce skill sets. The Manufacturing Institute, working with Futures Inc., has created a digital badge system to help translate applicable Military Occupational Specialty codes (MOS), the U.S. military’s system for identifying jobs, to civilian positions in advanced manufacturing. Skills matching and badge distribution will be supported by the US Manufacturing Pipeline, a centralized online hub that connects manufacturing employers with veterans and transitioning military personnel. Military veteran participants and employers can access these platforms at GetSkillstoWork.org.
Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) partnered with GE to develop and deploy a toolkit for employers focused on creating meaningful, lasting career opportunities for veterans in the advanced manufacturing sector. Available at toolkit.vets.syr.edu the toolkit builds on work begun by the IVMF with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Robin Hood in collaboration with McKinsey & Company. It includes research and proven best practices from more than 40 businesses to deliver processes, resources and programs that will enable more employers to effectively recruit, on-board, support and mentor veterans in the civilian workforce.
Education and Promotion
To help drive further industry participation, the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in international affairs, will lead efforts to educate and engage potential corporate partners. On a parallel track, GE has partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help raise awareness among military communities and drive veteran recruitment into the training program. Founded by award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, the Gary Sinise Foundation is dedicated to supporting veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.
Initial investments in Get Skills to Work will help 15,000 veterans translate military experience to corresponding advanced manufacturing opportunities and gain the technical skills needed to qualify for careers in this growing sector. The GSTW coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015. Companies and veterans interested in joining this effort or learning more can visit GetSkillstoWork.org or join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/GetSkillstoWork and Twitter @GetSkillstoWork.
GE is honored to have more than 10,000 U.S. military veterans continue their careers with the company and recently set a goal of hiring 1,000 veterans each year for the next five years. Through its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, GE hired over 1,100 veterans in 2012 and has supported over 40 Hiring Our Heroes transition workshops, coaching over 3,000 veterans. GE is also an active member of and donor to several leading national military and veteran support organizations, such as Disabled American Veterans, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the Medal of Honor Foundation, among others.
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
About Cincinnati State
Cincinnati State (www.cincinnatistate.edu) offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs in business technologies, health and public safety, engineering technologies, humanities and sciences and information technologies. Cincinnati State has one of the largest cooperative education programs among two-year schools in the United States.