The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers—has announced The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) as a Bronze sponsor of its Heroes MAKE America initiative. The investment will support the growth and expansion of the Heroes initiative. Heroes MAKE America supports manufacturers and our nation’s military community by creating opportunities to connect through our Department of Defense SkillBridge training programs, virtual and regional events, and career visibility into the greater military community, resulting in increased recruitment and hiring opportunities among a diverse military workforce.

“Manufacturing has averaged 500,000 job openings per month over the past year, and every year, about 200,000 service members transition out with just the kind of skills and experience that would make perfect additions to nearly any shop floor,” said MI President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “Careers in modern manufacturing are as diverse as our nation’s military community and provide excellent opportunities to transition their military skills and experience in the civilian workforce. With today’s generous investment by Manitowoc, the MI’s Heroes MAKE America initiative will be able to grow and expand further to help broaden our reach. Manitowoc can engage directly with participants through Heroes Connect events, onsite and virtual career fairs, and career-readiness training. We appreciate Manitowoc for their commitment to this life-changing program and support of our nation’s veterans and their families.”

“Manitowoc is grateful to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Heroes MAKE America initiative is an excellent opportunity to give back and show our support in a tangible way,” said Manitowoc Executive Vice President of Human Resources James Cook. “Veterans bring the right attitude, technical aptitude and mastery of technology to excel in modern manufacturing careers. We look forward to showcase Manitowoc as a desirable employer to harness their talents in an exciting industry of lifting equipment that help build the communities of the future.”

At the center of the Heroes MAKE America initiative is a full-time, Department of Defense–approved SkillBridge initiative aimed at closing the manufacturing skills gap by training transitioning service members with in-demand qualifications and industry-specific certifications needed for today’s manufacturing workforce. Manufacturers highly value the core elements of military training that allow America’s soldiers to be the best in the world. The teamwork, commitment to mission, communication and critical thinking skills that are essential to mission success are also vital to manufacturing success. Heroes MAKE America has training locations at Fort Riley in Kansas, Fort Cavazos in Texas, Fort Liberty in North Carolina and Fort Stewart in Georgia, as well as a 100% virtual program that is open to transitioning service members and the broader military community throughout all service branches.

Since starting in January 2018, the program has graduated 1,152 participants and issued more than 5,800 industry-recognized certifications. The program has resulted in a 90% placement rate among graduates in more than 350 companies in 48 states, with average salaries of $73,602 and wages of $24 an hour.  

In addition to Manitowoc, sponsors of Heroes MAKE America include Johnson & Johnson, The Caterpillar Foundation, Amazon, Howmet Aerospace, Saint-Gobain, Atlas Copco, Union Pacific, Niagara Bottling, WestRock, C.H. Guenther & Son, Honda Foundation, Cargill, FUCHS Lubricants Company, SEMI, Plastics Pipe Institute and NAFEM.

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