According to Deloitte Manufacturing Institute’s report, The Skills Gap in U.S.Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond, manufacturers for years have reported a sizeable gap between the talent they need to keep growing their businesses and the talent they can actually find. Successful manufacturing companies need a growing labor pool to meet increasing market demands.
Manufacturers meeting these needs have found a great benefit through recruiting veterans. Men and women enlist in the armed services for many reasons – a patriotic commitment to the United States, carrying on a family tradition, and more. In addition to strong character, our military men and women expand on their skills and increase their education during deployment, making them the perfect candidates for the manufacturing sector upon their return.
A side-by-side comparison demonstrates an almost perfect match of the skillset veterans possess and the skillset required by modern manufacturing. Manufacturers are clamoring for all levels of management to become leaders. Individuals who can solve problems creatively, while understanding the latest technology, are in high demand. Veterans possess many, if not all, of the skills manufacturers are desperately seeking. Their hard skills make them technically proficient, while the soft skills they possess provide social and leadership expertise. Veterans come ready to get the job done right.
From the shop floor right up to the executive offices, manufacturing leadership can be lacking. The natural hierarchy of the military instills leadership characteristics in its personnel. Line officers and noncommissioned officers are taught to think for themselves and to take initiative when possible. They know the team under their command is their direct responsibility. Consequences are understood should they do something irresponsible.
- Veterans are taught how to work in diverse teams with all different types of skillsets. They know how to cooperate with a variety of individuals.
- Flexibility is required in the armed services to meet ever-changing demands.
- Veterans are used to working under pressure and meeting aggressive deadlines. Cracking under pressure is not an option.
- Higher-level skills include system planning, engineering, logistics and organizational management. The armed forces heavily rely on logistics to keep a unit moving, supplied, and equipped.
- Veterans are safety conscience and understand policy, procedures, and structure. They possess a unique perspective and value accountability.
Veterans are highly trained, versatile and educated, making them great hires within the private industry. Most of the skills acquired in the armed services are highly transferable and perfect for manufacturing. So the next time you have an open position, consider the benefits of hiring a U.S. veteran!
Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.