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Washington Program Matches Veterans With Aerospace Jobs

Leak detection

While it might be better known for its gorgeous geography and famous lumber industry, the state of Washington is quickly becoming a major site for aerospace engineering. This region is now home to more than 1,350 aerospace-related businesses, including the world headquarters of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. As a result, Washington’s businesses are always searching for the best implements to help their growing industry, whether that means identifying a better leak detection equipment to check their products or finding great new employees. Over the last few years, companies in Washington have been accomplishing the latter through an unusual program, which helps match their companies with former soldiers, who often have valuable skills and experiences that can help the industry soar.

Called “Military to Manufacturing”, the program offers returned veterans two-day workshops at Joint Base Lewis McChord, near Tacoma. The sessions, which are presented every month, help veterans understand how they can apply the skills they learned in uniform in the aerospace industry. Over the course of three years, 500 veterans have reportedly completed the program and 200 have successfully found jobs with aerospace companies in Washington state.

The program is coordinated by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound and costs an estimated $50,000 to run. However, this organization, which is mostly comprised of regional manufacturing companies, says the workshops definitely have their benefits: they say that the veterans not only have a good work ethic, but also know how to use a variety of tools and read aerospace blueprints. Moreover, with the ever-improving technology being utilized by the industry, it is easier than ever for trained newcomers to join these business. This new technology includes advanced leak detection systems, which now often do not require leak testing specialists to operate the leak testing machines.

Currently, the program uses “translation models” to help map out how 140 different military skill sets can be used in civilian aerospace jobs. The Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound is attempting to procure federal funding to expand the initiative. Read more here. For more information, read this website.

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