Manufacturers to Hire More Veterans
As our nation celebrates Veteran’s Day, one industry may be celebrating more than others. In recent years, many manufacturing plants have experienced a skills gap in their workforce, but more are turning to veterans to fill that gap.
"It's challenging to find people in manufacturing," said Holly Mosack, Director of Employee Communications for Advanced Technology. "One of the jackpots we hit was to find people in the military."
As soldiers return home from their tours of duty they begin searching for civilian jobs. While Advanced Technology is one company that has made hiring veterans a priority, others are following suit. Starbucks, for example, claimed that it has committed to hiring at least 10,000 veterans within the next five years.
Still, the unemployment rate for soldiers remains a problem, with the rate currently hovering around seven percent.
Many companies are dedicated to hiring veterans because they have a multitude of skills, can learn quickly, and are used to changing jobs and locations frequently.
"They also have leadership and discipline," said Mosack. "They just have a different attitude."
"This demographic represents one of the most underutilized talent pools in our country," former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Reuters.
Dave Collins is one such veteran that has been hired in a manufacturing field. He was in the Navy for 29 years and upon his retirement from the military was hired at Advanced Technology.
At Advanced Technology, Collins has learned how to use all kinds of machinery from 1940s mill presses to robotics and advanced laser systems and the challenges remind him of his career in the military.
"You have to be cross-trained—electrical skills, robotics, mechanics. You have to be able to think on your feet," said Collins. "It really reminds me of the submarine mentality."