The Manufacturing Institute created Heroes MAKE America to build a pipeline from military to manufacturing careers for transitioning service members, with a special focus on hard to fill production jobs. The Institute currently has training programs located at Fort Riley, Kansas and Fort Hood, Texas, and plans to continue to expand to additional bases in 2019 and beyond.

Heroes MAKE America 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.  The Heroes MAKE America program arms these service members with in-demand qualifications and industry-specific certifications needed for today’s manufacturing workforce. The core elements of military training that allow America’s service members to be the best in the world-include teamwork, commitment to mission, communication and critical thinking.  These skills are not only essential to mission success but are also essential to manufacturing success. 

As part of the accelerated training program, service members will:

Earn three industry specific certifications including a Certified Production Technician Certificate, OSHA 10 Certificate, and a Fork Lift Driver Certification; 
Obtain four targeted manufacturing credentials in 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 which 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

One of the most beneficial features of the training program is that eligible service members can take the training while they are still on active duty. As an approved DoD SkillBridge training program, the Heroes MAKE America program becomes their place of duty. Service members are enrolled in class full time, allowing them to be fully engaged in the training program while working toward discovering a rewarding career in manufacturing.  Building a pipeline to bring these transitioning service members into this critical economic sector benefits the service members and the manufacturers who make America strong. 

For more information or sponsorship opportunities for the Heroes MAKE America program, please contact Amy Thomas. at

 Founding Sponsor

4-Star Sponsor
3-Star Sponsor


2-Star Sponsor

1-Star Sponsor






 Association Partners Network


Employer Hiring Partners

  • Alcoa
  • Allergan
  • Allied Universal
  • Amarr/Entrematic Doors
  • American Sugar Refining (ASR/C&H)
  • American Tank and Fabricating Company
  • Arconic
  • Associated Equipment Distributors
  • Athena
  • Behlen
  • Belltec
  • Berry Global
  • BNSF
  • Boeing
  • Bridgestone
  • BSNF
  • Cargill
  • Cargill Protein
  • Caterpillar
  • Coca-Cola Company
  • Commercial Metals Company
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Cooper Standard
  • Delta Airlines
  • DuPont
  • DT Engineering
  • Eastern Carolinas Workforce Development 
  • Evans Tool & Die
  • Exxon Mobile
  • Flint Hills Resources
  • Florence Manufacturing
  • Footlocker
  • Fresenius
  • Frito Lay
  • Georgia Pacific
  • Goodyear
  • Guardian Industries
  • Halliburton
  • Hallmark
  • Honeywell
  • Hormel
  • IBT Industrial Solutions
  • Invista
  • James Avery Jewelry
  • JEM Engineering
  • Johns Manville
  • Johnson Controls
  • Kellogs
  • Koch Industries
  • Labconco
  • Manko Windows
  • Mars Wrigley Confectionery
  • Martin Marietta
  • McPherson Industrial Development Company 
  • MEC
  • Molex

  • MTC
  • National Fluid Power Association
  • National Gypsum
  • Nestle
  • Newpark
  • Nordson
  • Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Novelis
  • Nucor
  • NXP Semiconductors 
  • O-I
  • Old Castle Enclosures
  • Orbis 
  • Orbital ATK
  • Parker Hannifin
  • Pepsi Co
  • Pfizer
  • Procter & Gamble
  • PT Products
  • Resilient Floor Covering Institute
  • Ripple Glass
  • R-Tech Tools
  • Saint Gobain
  • SAS
  • Siemens
  • Sierra Plastics
  • Smithfield Foods
  • Smuckers
  • Sonoco
  • Spirit AeroSystems
  • StarCorr
  • Stratasys Direct
  • Temple Machine Shop
  • Textron
  • The Eaton Corporation
  • The Veggie Noodle Company
  • TMS Hydraulics
  • Tokyo Electron
  • Toyota
  • Trane
  • Trans Cable International
  • Triangle
  • Tru Homes (Clayton Homes)
  • USAA
  • Vinyl Siding Institute
  • Waste Management
  • Walmart 
  • Wilson Art
  • Wireco
Fort Riley, Kansas Program Partners

  • U.S. Army Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program at Fort Riley
  • Washburn Institute of Technology
  • USO Pathfinder Program at Fort Riley
  • Kansas Works
  • Kansas State University
  • Kansas Chamber
  • Wade’s World Financial

Fort Hood, Texas Program Partners

  • U.S. Army Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program at Fort Hood
  • Central Texas College
  • USO Pathfinder Program at Fort Hood
  • Workforce Solutions of Central Texas
  • Fort Hood National Bank
  • Texas Veterans Commission

© 2019 Manufacturing Institute
733 10th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001