Manufacturers have long sourced great talent from the military community, helping transitioning and former military members apply their skills to America’s most pressing manufacturing challenges.
Through the Manufacturing Readiness Project, the Manufacturing Institute is now making it even easier for military veterans to find excellent civilian careers—and for manufacturers to build an outstanding and talented workforce.
The project: The Manufacturing Readiness Project aims to make military experience comprehensible to civilian employers via a digital credentialing system.
- Military servicemembers are awarded digital badges—stored in digital wallets—based on their military occupation and the training they received, giving both them and future employers a clear way to understand how their military experience prepared them for a career in manufacturing.
The details: The badges include a range of certifications in areas like general safety, general quality and general maintenance.
- Each badge includes a number of additional micro-badges signifying levels and types of achievement. General safety, for example, includes micro-badges in fields like workplace safety, environmental inspections and emergency response.
- These badges are also aligned with more than 300 military occupation codes across all five branches of the military, thereby translating military experience into terms that civilian employers will recognize.
What it means: For the MI, the workforce development and education affiliate of the NAM, this project represents a critical opportunity to expand the military-to-manufacturing pipeline.
- Currently, the MI’s Heroes MAKE America program trains transitioning military personnel in manufacturing skills and works to connect veterans to opportunities in manufacturing.
- The Manufacturing Readiness Project will enhance this effort by providing an avenue for veterans and transitioning personnel to highlight their military experience and enter the MI’s military-to-manufacturing pathway.
Why it matters: This initiative is one of the first of its kind to combine the use of the newest labor market technology tools—Learning & Employment Records, digital badges and digital wallets—to help workers find employment.
- This project is designed to be scalable across military occupations and civilian industries, thus opening the door to a broader range of servicemembers, veterans and employers.
What to expect: The pilot launched on Nov. 13—and within the first few weeks, more than 400 total badges have been awarded to transitioning and former servicemembers.
- So far, the initiative has received vital support from a range of organizations, including Solutions for Information Design, Jobs for the Future, Hire Heroes USA, the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council and Walmart. Following the pilot, the MI looks forward to seeking even more partners across the industry.
Learn more: For more information about the Manufacturing Readiness Project and the MI’s Heroes MAKE America program, please contact [email protected].