The 12-week program, which launched in August, combines classroom learning with hands-on lab experience. Veterans are trained in Rockwell's state-of-the art facility in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, for jobs in advanced manufacturing. All of the graduates have job offers and more than half have multiple job offers that significantly increase — some graduates even doubling — their previous salaries.
“This program felt like it was made just for me,” said Travis Tolbert, U.S. Navy veteran and academy graduate. “It focused on controls and automation, which is something I've always wanted to do, but was never able to do until now. The academy helped me take my military skills and understand how I could make them relevant for jobs outside of the Navy.”
According to Rockwell, the manufacturing sector in the U.S. is estimated to produce up to 3.5 million new jobs over the next decade. With close to 2.5 million manufacturing workers set to retire by 2025 and ongoing skill shortages, up to two million of those new jobs could go unfilled. Military veterans often work in technology intensive roles and with on-the-job training these adjacent skills can be transferred to roles in advanced manufacturing.
“Manufacturing employers in the United States are experiencing a significant gap between the skills they need and the skills people have. Our solution was to look for people with adjacent skills — skills that are closely connected and can be adapted easily, developed and applied to new roles,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “Veterans share many skills that are relevant to manufacturing — including effective problem solving and a team work mindset. This program is a win-win, we’re helping service men and women earn more and stay employable for the long term while helping employers address their skills gap.”
“In recognition of Veterans Day, on behalf of Rockwell and ManpowerGroup, we thank all our veterans for their service,” said Blake Moret, CEO of Rockwell Automation. “We are honored to recognize our first military veterans to graduate the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing. We’ve seen their unique combination of core work and tech-savvy skills evolve to successfully position them for careers in the industry. We’re confident this program will help solve a challenge critical to the growth of advanced manufacturing.”