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Heroes MAKE America Program Attracts Veterans to the Industry

The traditional means of recruiting talent for the construction equipment industry have led to the skilled labor shortage that most AED member dealers now face. Filling the hiring needs of tomorrow’s workforce will require updated hiring practices and collaborations with newfound recruitment allies. AED is committed to bringing innovative hiring solutions to its member dealers and is demonstrating this commitment through its new agreement with the Manufacturing Institute.

The AED Foundation and the Manufacturing Institute recently signed an agreement that will bring awareness to veterans about the many opportunities available in the construction equipment distribution industry. The cornerstone of this effort is the Manufacturing Institute’s recently launched Heroes MAKE America (HMA) Program. Here’s how it works:

About the HMA Program
The HMA program was created to offer industry training designed to help our nation’s service members transition into manufacturing careers. As an approved Department of Defense Skillbridge program, the HMA program is offered to service members in their last six months of military service. This is a one-of-a-kind designation as far as veterans’ programs go, as it enrolls service members before they leave active duty. This allows active military personnel to continue to receive military pay and benefits during training. 

During the HMA training program, service members earn a Certified Production Technician certification along with industry credentials, including Safety in Manufacturing Production, Quality Practices and Measurement, Processes and Production, and Maintenance Awareness, from the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC). Additionally, they receive an OSHA 10 certification and training in forklift operation, resume writing, personal finance and behavioral interviewing techniques to help facilitate their transition to the private sector.

Participants also hear from human resources representatives and tour local manufacturing facilities near program sites. One of the institute’s goals for the program is to offer students exposure to and placement opportunities with manufacturers from as many industry segments as possible. HMA provides a base level of training and certification that prepares students for entry into all manufacturing industries, while giving the service members a firsthand look at what modern manufacturing is all about. The HMA program is generating a pipeline of military-trained industry-credentialed candidates into our industry.

“Heroes MAKE America is building a pipeline from military to manufacturing. We are not only addressing manufacturing’s workforce crisis but, by matching returning service members with the kind of manufacturing opportunities that pair perfectly with their in-demand skills along with the certifications necessary to excel in those careers, it’s literally changing lives,” commented Carolyn Lee, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute. “We are grateful to have incredible partners like AED who are critical to expanding the program’s reach and providing these opportunities to even more of our nation’s heroes. In a way, you could say that AED is important to this programs’ success just as equipment distributors are critical to manufacturing’s success overall.”

Heroes MAKE America Association Partners Network

Scaling the program nationally to maximize the number of transitioning service members that can attend the HMA training on or near military bases will require significant investments and partnerships from the manufacturing community. Enter The AED Foundation. The Foundation has partnered with the Manufacturing Institute to engage our members to support the Heroes MAKE America Association Partners Network. 

Jason Blake, senior vice president of The AED Foundation, remarked, “We are excited to team up with the Manufacturing Institute. This initiative will introduce veterans to our industry and allow dealers to tap into this pool of candidates.” Joining the HMA Association Partners Network means AED members will have access to job candidate pools at all Heroes locations through the upcoming Heroes MAKE America job board, with the ability to post job opportunities, search resumes, and receive resumes and position applications from Heroes graduates across the country. By investing in the HMA program, The AED Foundation will be further developing the skilled talent the industry is in dire need of.

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