Richmond, VA – Today, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that the Virginia Industry Foundation (VIF) was awarded a Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Rapid Response Assistance Program for Veterans’ Employment grant to launch its Military2Manufacturing (M2M) program. VIF, in partnership with the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA), ECPI University, Blue Ridge Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, the Virginia Employment Commission, and numerous Workforce Investment Boards, will implement a comprehensive outreach, training and placement service to connect separating veterans with career opportunities in advanced technology industries, like manufacturing, over the next 18 months as a national demonstration program.
According to Dr. Craig Herndon, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development at VCCS, “This grant seeks to expedite the translation of veteran’s valuable military experience into industry credentials and employment in high growth, high wage careers within the civilian labor market. The Virginia Industry Foundation’s Military2Manufacturing program holds promise for bridging the gap between military experience and civilian industry credentials through strategic partners, creating a statewide channel to connect advanced manufacturers with recently separated veterans.”
M2M offers integrated career preparation, assessment and training, and transferable skills to help transitioning military or their spouses start private sector careers in manufacturing. M2M helps recently separated veterans to convert past military experience and training into skills credentials. All program participants will assess for the National Career Readiness Certificate and the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 Certification to document core manufacturing technology competencies, signaling they are manufacturing work ready, and will be provided with remediation and skills gap training where necessary. The “capstone” of this program will be an intensive advanced manufacturing immersion program to insure relevant “hands-on” exposure to manufacturing technology and processes. Finally, intensive employment and career advancement services will be provided to achieve an 81% placement rate in relevant high demand advanced manufacturing positions across the Commonwealth.
“One obstacle faced by transitioning veterans is a gap between their military experience and the necessary credentials to continue their chosen career in the private sector. Military2Manufacturing will reduce those barriers by charting a clear path to obtain competency-based, industry-recognized and stackable credentials using the Dream it. Do it. Virginia 3.0 Operating System and Network,” said Katherine DeRosear, VIF and VMA Director of Workforce Development.
The VIF will coordinate M2M efforts through the newly established Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI). The MSI provides relevant education and skills training for careers in advanced manufacturing by offering targeted training programs delivered by MSI and MSI education partner institutions. MSI will provide veterans with core manufacturing technology competencies so that they have the foundational and technical skills to pursue career pathways leading to employment in the manufacturing sector. An integrated system of value-added M2Mresources from career exploration to employment will be accessible through the MSI.
About Virginia Industry Foundation (VIF)The Virginia Industry Foundation was organized in 2007 to provide scientific educational information; compose, publish, and disseminate information and standards designed to advance industry and specific education; recognize industrial, scientific, educational, workplace, and environmental achievements; support technology intensive industry research and development; and serve as a central scientific, educational, and charitable resource for industry and the public. For more information about the VIF, please visit www.virginiaindustryfoundation.org.