The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) has become an Association Sponsor Partner of the Manufacturing Institute’s Heroes MAKE America program. According to the website, the program builds “connections between the military community and manufacturing community” and strives to “integrate Heroes participants and other great talent from the military community into their workforce.”
The AEC will use the two-year partnership with Heroes MAKE America to help its participating U.S. members with manufacturing operations across the country to hire skilled and qualified personnel to fill open positions for management and skilled technicians that are sorely needed.
“I am excited to partner with The Manufacturing Institute in their Heroes Make America initiative for a number of reasons,” explained Duncan Crowdis, chairman of the AEC Workforce Development Steering Committee and board member of Alexandria Industries. “The goals of this program and the needs of AEC members are perfectly complimentary, and the partnership checks off so many boxes. It’s an opportunity for the people who have served our country in the military, to seamlessly transition to a rewarding next career in manufacturing. It’s an opportunity for our industry to attract much-needed mature talent as we grow into the future. It’s an opportunity to leverage many skills that our service personnel have developed while in the military and apply them in a manufacturing setting. And it’s an opportunity for two organizations to work together to expand a program that has had increasing success since its launch in 2018.”
Through a variety of initiatives, Heroes MAKE America provides participants with the skills and certifications they need to build a rewarding career in manufacturing. The program targets transitioning service members, National Guard members, reservists, veterans, and active-duty military spouses. Currently, the training program is in force onsite at four military bases, including Ft. Cavazos, Texas; Ft. Liberty, North Carolina; Ft. Riley, Kansas; and Ft. Stewart/Hunter Army Air Field (HAAF), Georgia. Training pathways include Certified Production Technician (CPT)®, Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA), and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)®. Virtual training is also offered in CPT or CLT.
The AEC was attracted to the Heroes MAKE America initiative due to the strong alignment of the mutual goals of both organizations, and the way in which The Manufacturing Institute has taken such a broad approach to the challenge of finding rewarding careers for transitioning military personnel.
“[The Heroes MAKE America Program] provides not only several basic training options that align with manufacturing skill needs, but they put in place opportunities to connect the military with manufacturers through in-person and virtual presentations, job fairs, and industry-specific showcases,” explained Crowdis. “In addition, to ensure a high rate of successful transitions, given the unique needs of military personnel, they put in place educational programs for employers, focused on awareness and integration of transitioning military veterans, making it a fully multi-dimensional approach.”
AEC will be taking time in the first quarter of 2024 to develop an onboarding process for interested AEC members to take part in the program. The Heroes MAKE America program will be integrated into the AEC’s Workforce Development Initiative that has the mandate of aiding members in attracting and retaining skilled personnel for the aluminum extrusion industry.