In 2018, The AED Foundation formed a partnership with Heroes MAKE America (HMA). Launched by the Manufacturing Institute, part of the National Association of Manufacturers, HMA is designed to create a pipeline from military to manufacturing careers for transitioning service members, with a special focus on hard-to-fill production jobs. As AED’s south central regional manager, I’ve been proud to be a part of this great program.
The AED Foundation’s partnership with HMA is designed to build awareness in veterans about our industry in the hope that they can fill some of the hard-to-fill jobs our member companies have open, including diesel technician positions. The AED Foundation has been active in promoting this HMA partnership with our members, and we encourage you to take advantage of the programs that HMA puts on, including networking events, tours of local companies, and access to HMA recruitment listings (limited to contributors to The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign efforts). Our HMA partnership is yet another service we provide to our members to help you recruit talent for your dealership or company.
More About HMA: HMA is a full-time, 10-week U.S. Department of Defense approved SkillBridge program that is offered in partnership with the U.S. Army Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program, which links transitioning service members to civilian training opportunities. HMA has active sites at the following locations: Fort Riley in Kansas, Fort Hood in Texas, and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Sites at Fort Campbell in Kentucky and Fort Benning in Georgia are expected to come online this year. As part of the accelerated training program, service members do the following:
• Earn three industry-specific certifications including a Certified Production Technician Certificate, an
• OSHA 10 Certificate, and a Forklift Driver Certification.
• Obtain a targeted manufacturing credential in each of the following: safety, manufacturing processes and production, quality inspection, and maintenance.
• Undergo a basic math and reading assessment.
• Prepare for job interviews in a full week of intensive career training that includes resume review and writing, behavioral and mock interview training, and a personal finance course.
• Participate in 10-15 manufacturing plant tours.
• Network with industry partners.
• Receive job placement assistance, both locally and nationally.
Here’s how AED members can become involved with HMA:
Tours of AED Member Companies
As part of the program, the transitioning soldiers take weekly tours of area companies to learn more about the job opportunities available to them when they return to civilian life. The goal of our partnership is to raise awareness in veterans about careers in the construction equipment distribution industry. The AED Foundation has been proactive in scheduling tours at AED member companies. I attended tours at Bobcat of Houston and ASCO in April, Vermeer Texas-Louisiana in May, and CAT’s excavator facility in Victoria, Texas, in July. These tours give soldiers a firsthand look at a career in the heavy equipment industry.
The HMA networking events are a great opportunity for AED member companies to network directly with soldiers to determine their skill set and if they would be a good fit with their company culture. The AED Foundation was a sponsor of networking events that I attended in May in Killeen, Texas (Fort Hood), and in April in Topeka, Kansas (Fort Riley). Due to our efforts, Congressman Steve Watkins (who represents the 2nd District of Kansas and is a veteran himself) attended the Fort Riley event and learned more about the work The AED Foundation and HMA are doing to fill hard-to-fill jobs in the greater manufacturing industry.
AED members interested in receiving regular resume listings from HMA can take advantage of this by investing in The AED Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Campaign. Contact your regional manager or Marty McCormack at The AED Foundation for further information.