-  Manufacturing employs more than 328,000 people in Florida, with an average compensation of 69% more in earnings and benefits than Florida’s average. Yet manufacturers are reporting a shortage of workers with technical skills, including production, machining, welding, and quality assurance.

Veterans present a huge opportunity and a renewable resource to help fill this gap in Florida. With more than 1.5 million veterans in the state, they have strong core values, are competitive, and smart. That’s why today, Get Skills to Work, in partnership with the Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF), First Coast Manufacturers Association, Workforce Florida, and the Florida TRADE Consortium, will welcome Florida into the Get Skills to Work coalition, to better prepare and place veterans in the state into long-term careers in advanced manufacturing.

The partnership will be formally announced at the MAF Annual Summit on December 4, 2014. Serhat Alpar, a former U.S. Navy officer, who is Operations Manager for GE Oil and Gas, Offshore, will keynote the summit and discuss the future of manufacturing, the importance of growing the manufacturing workforce, and the value of veterans in creating a pipeline of talented workers. The Manufacturing Institute will also participate in a panel discussion on Sourcing, Hiring and Retaining Veterans.

The Get Skills to Work coalition includes small, medium, and large manufacturers, and it focuses on training veterans in manufacturing and helping them translate existing military skills into manufacturing careers. The Institute along with GE, Alcoa, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin, founded Get Skills to Work in October 2012. Get Skills to Work aims to train military veterans for advanced manufacturing careers, bolster the talent pipeline, and enhance American competitiveness.

Read the press release here.

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