Heroes MAKE America is a full-time, 10-week career skills program, that launched in partnership with the U.S. Army Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program at Fort Riley and the USO Pathfinder Program at Fort Riley. The Manufacturing Institute created the Heroes MAKE America program in an effort to build a pipeline from military to manufacturing careers for transitioning service members.

Heroes MAKE America gives manufacturers direct access to industry-credentialed and industry-qualified veteran candidates with workplace skills, reduces on the job training expenses and enhances job productivity, and supports our nation’s heroes during their transition to civilian employment.

Manufacturers highly value the core elements of military training that allow soldiers to be the best in the world. The teamwork, commitment to mission, communication and critical thinking skills that are essential to mission success are also essential to manufacturing. Opening a pipeline to bring these transitioning soldiers into this critical economic sector benefits the soldiers and the manufacturers who make America strong.


  • 14 college credits resulting in a Certified Production Technician Certificate issued by Washburn Institute of Technology
  • 9 industry-specific certifications, including Safety in Manufacturing Production, Quality Practices and Measurement, Manufacturing Processes and Production, Maintenance Awareness, CPT + Hands-On issued by MSSC; plus, Fork Lift Operator, and OSHA 10 issued by Washburn Institute of Technology, and WorkKeys® Applied Math and Reading for Information issued by ACT
  • Manufacturing plant tours and networking opportunities
  • Manufacturing career training, including resume and cover letter writing, social media management, personal finance course, and a Strengths Finder Assessment
  • Job interviews
  • Graduation ceremony

Fort Riley Participant Demographics

  • 24 - 29 years old
  • 2 - 8 years in the military
  • Private First Class to Staff Sergeant
  • Manufacturing MOS's: Maintenance, Machining, Welding, Production, Logistics

Heroes MAKE America Newsletter


Manufacturing Partners

  • Amarr Entrematic​
  • Arconic Aerospace Center​
  • Berry Global​
  • BNSF Railroad
  • Cargill Protein​
  • Caterpillar​
  • Florence Corporation​
  • GE Appliance
  • Georgia Pacific​
  • Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company​
  • Hallmark Cards​
  • Hormel Foods Corporation​
  • Koch Industries, Inc
  • Manko Windows​
  • Mars Chocolate North America​
  • Nestle
  • Orbital ATK​
  • Parker Hannifin​
  • Siemens
  • Smithfield Foods​
  • Spirit AeroSystems
  • The J.M. Smucker Company​
  • Tyson Foods​

Program Partners

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

© 2018 Manufacturing Institute
733 10th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001