Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Opportunities for Connecting with Veterans

I had the opportunity to attend a Veteran Service Organization Meeting here in DC recently. Deputy Secretary of Labor, Chris Lu, moderated a panel of senior DOL leaders to discuss various programs and the Department’s integrated approach to serving our veterans, military families, and transitioning service members.

One of the presenters was from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. They have been sponsoring Hiring our Heroes job fairs across the country the past three years. Recently they began working with Department of Defense to help make the employment connection for soon to be separated military by hosting Service Member Transition Summits at military bases as part of the Transition Assistance Programs . These summits include workshops on diverse careers available across many industries, and they are trying to focus on the ‘growth’ industries, with manufacturing being a key one.

The summits provide opportunities for companies and industry groups to participate in learning workshops and matchmaking with soon to be veterans. Employers are welcome to attend. The summits are held at the base, but the service men and women there are from across the country, and may want to go ‘home’, or would consider home wherever there’s a good job opportunity.

Many of you may be aware of these initiatives working with your local agencies. If not, you may want to consider reaching out to your local Job Centers and connect with the Veterans Outreach staff to find out what they are doing and how you can help manufacturers connect with valuable potential employees. In the meantime, I’ll be searching for connections to help identify opportunities for MEP to assist with programming specific to manufacturing careers.

Let me know how you are connecting veterans to jobs in manufacturing!

About the author

Mary Ann Pacelli

Mary Ann Pacelli, M.Ed., is the Division Chief for Network Learning and Strategic Competitions with the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  In this role, Mary Ann oversees the special competitions award process and the development and implementation of a plan for Learning and Knowledge Sharing across the National Network.  Recently Mary Ann was the Program Manager, Workforce Development, at MEP for over 4 years.  Her work included advocating for Manufacturing Workforce priorities with related federal agencies and providing technical support to the network of MEP centers across the country for workforce related activities.  In addition, she manages special MEP projects, and coordinates the Workforce Directors of the Manufacturing USA Institute Network, on behalf of the NIST Advanced Manufacturing Program Office. 

Related posts

Making it Happen in a Man’s World

With a career of more than 40 years in the manufacturing industry, I can look back now and see that I was greatly influenced by my father, who worked for an


I think the summits provide opportunities for companies and industry groups to participate in learning workshops and matchmaking with soon to be veterans. But how connect with the Veterans Outreach staff to find out what they are doing for with soon to be veterans?
I am a USMC Infantry Veteran OIF/OEF. I own a website design and marketing company and my focus is heavily on the manufacturing industry. I would love to see more of these programs designed to not just link potential employees to companies, but also to veteran owned businesses that could be of assistance. My company has created fantastic custom designed websites for manufacturing companies and also helps these companies get exposure online through search engine optimization. If you know of any opportunities like this please let me know. My company website is

Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Please be respectful when posting comments. We will post all comments without editing as long as they are appropriate for a public, family friendly website, are on topic and do not contain profanity, personal attacks, misleading or false information/accusations or promote specific commercial products, services or organizations. Comments that violate our comment policy or include links to non-government organizations/web pages will not be posted.