Inaugural class graduation of the Heroes Make America program at Fort Riley, KS, sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute of the NAM.

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Building connections between the military community and the manufacturing industry

Our signature program provides integrated certification and career-readiness training in partnership with local community colleges to prepare transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard members, reservists and military spouses for rewarding careers in manufacturing.



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Resources For Employers

Heroes MAKE America is committed to helping manufacturers integrate Heroes participants and other great talent from the military community into their workforce. Explore resources for employers, including best practice sharing, hiring trainings and more.

Employer Resources

Discover a Dedicated Workforce

The Manufacturing Institute’s Heroes MAKE America program partners with manufacturing leaders who are building supportive communities of veterans proactively within their organizations. From hiring, to hosting facility tours and more, explore opportunities for your company or organization to get involved with Heroes MAKE America today.

Employer Engagement Opportunities

Upcoming Events



A Helicopter Mechanic’s Manufacturing Career Takes Off

December 10, 2021

Marsalis Leonard didn’t grow up in a gearhead family, but from the beginning of his eight years as a helicopter mechanic in the U.S. Army, he was immersed in a world of skills he would never have anticipated seeking out…


An Army Vet Finds Military Values in Manufacturing

June 16, 2021

Hugo Hinojosa loved being in the military. He served 22 years in the U.S. Army, with time in eight different duty stations. His service gave him the opportunity to get a degree, travel the world, see different places and forge…


“Manufacturing Is an Obvious Choice” for a Veteran

July 2, 2020

Dan Mitchell didn’t expect to join the Army, which means he couldn’t have expected to translate his military experience into a career in manufacturing. But thanks to The Manufacturing Institute’s Heroes MAKE America program, that’s where he is now. The…


A Hero Finds a Quality Career

December 23, 2020

Nicole Reyna’s professional journey—from college student to Army sergeant to senior quality assurance technologist at Smithfield Foods—wasn’t one she had planned. But thanks to The Manufacturing Institute’s Heroes MAKE America program, it’s one that has brought her where she wants…


From Army Mechanic to Food Manufacturer

June 26, 2020

Brittanee Sayer is the sixth of seven siblings who have served in branches of the military. Given her family’s example, she always knew she would serve her country. But what would come after that? The answer: manufacturing, thanks to training…


Heroes MAKE America Graduate’s Manufacturing Career Takes Flight

July 2, 2019

Joseph Smith spent 20 years in the military, beginning as a mechanic working on Apache helicopters and serving for most of his career as a maintenance supervisor in the U.S. Army. Today, he’s a maintenance unit supervisor based in Davenport,…


Heroes MAKE America Fuels Veteran’s Oil and Gas Career

August 26, 2019

As a child, Josh Matherne dreamed of joining the military. He realized that dream as a team supervisor in the U.S. Army infantry at Fort Hood, where he mentored younger soldiers and helped ensure that they were doing their jobs…

Thomas Schlieper participates in a Heroes MAKE America tour.

Heroes MAKE America Student Goes from the Army to Mars

June 10, 2019

As a production scheduler for Mars, Incorporated, Thomas Schlieper has a hand in sending sweet treats all over the world. In some ways, it’s very different from his former career. As a teenager, Schlieper joined the Army National Guard because…

Jason Gustine participates in a tour while in the Heroes MAKE America program.

Heroes MAKE America Student Makes Tracks at Goodyear

June 20, 2019

Jason Gustine has always enjoyed learning how things are made. As an area manager at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Topeka, Kansas, he taps into his lifelong interest while making use of the people skills and the processes…