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!