The skills gap continues to be an ongoing and critical issue for the manufacturing industry. There are jobs to fill but the industry is struggling to find workers versed in the newest skills such as AI (artificial intelligence), automation, robots and cobots, analytics and IoT (the Internet of Things) to name a few.

Embracing a growing range of technologies, the industry continues to look forward, teaming with outside organizations to encourage the study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in younger generations, but in the immediate the gap remains. A 2018 Skills Gap in Manufacturing Study from Deloitte cites technology as responsible for the creation of more jobs in the industry. This is a reverse from what was once feared that technology would decrease the number of available jobs in manufacturing. Deloitte’s study estimates 2.4 positions will be filled between 2018 and 2028 with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion.

New Resources

With a high percentage of manufacturers facing hiring difficulties, some are looking for new ways to bridge the gaps with the hire of retired military personnel. Through this win-win partnership, veterans are finding new applications for their technical skills in manufacturing and manufacturers are finding quality workers who fit well into the culture of the industry.

To further this exchange, some former veterans are also using stipends from their GI Bill to attend special programming to boost skills specific to the industry. One additional bonus of the partnership is that many veterans find the camaraderie of the industry like that of the military. A coalition between manufacturing companies and technical and community schools is partnering to recruit and retain veterans through a program called Get Skills to Work. Interested partners can learn more about the manufacturing industry, the needed skills and education and look for potential matches between military experience and available manufacturing jobs.

Reliability and Consistency

Manufacturers working with veterans benefit from the can-do soldier mindset, a reminder to preserver even when facing adversity. This attitude will continue to prove critical as the industry evolves with the introduction of new technologies and inputs from a variety of sources.

  • Robust mechanical skills
  • Leadership
  • Productivity
  • Teamwork
  • Procedure driven

For those manufacturers willing to look at the path less traveled, veterans can provide impressive transferable skills that can be instrumental in helping bridge the skills gap and provide employment for those who have bravely served our country.