Growing Manufacturing - Bringing Jobs & Veterans Home to Build Things, Again!

Association for Manufacturing Excellence

Growing Manufacturing

Bringing Jobs and Veterans Home to Build Things, Again!

Why is there a need for jobs to produce things at home, again? Manufacturing is critical to economic growth, prosperity, and a higher standard of living.  Not only is manufacturing responsible for almost two-thirds of private-sector research and development, it creates the highest number of jobs to support the industry while serving the surrounding communities and contributing to more than 50 percent of the nation’s total exports.  Manufacturing jobs put people to work and provide them with a higher standard of living by creating high wage, skilled jobs required for the revitalization of manufacturing.

The current unemployment rate stands at 8.2 percent, with the number of veterans standing at 880,000.  The overall unemployment rate for all 18-to-24–year-olds (veterans and nonveterans) rose to 15.3% in May 2012.  These unemployment numbers not only affect workers temporarily, but deprive them of the experience they need to get a better job.  In addition, high unemployment deprives companies of the skilled and experienced workers they need to grow and prosper in the future.

The U.S. is looking to find ways to take this pool of talented veterans and help transform those soldiers into career-ready citizens.  The White House’s Joining Forces initiative has been encouraging companies to hire veterans.  Companies seeking to fill job openings can find numerous potentially qualified employees from the increasing numbers of veterans reentering the job market.  Texas, along with other states, is helping businesses make connections with veterans who need workers to grow their businesses.  The Department of Labor has a hiring tool kit designed to assist and educate employers to take a proactive approach to include transitioning service members, veterans, and wounded warriors in their recruitment and hiring initiatives.

Companies such as M2 Global Technology Ltd., headquartered in Texas, have a long history of hiring veterans.  M2 Global pursues exiting military personnel from all the branches of service, seeking those who possess skill sets that match their staffing needs.  The company's current workforce is comprised of about 25 percent veterans.  In 2011, 15 percent of new hires were veterans, and M2 Global has set a goal for 2012 that 20 percent of new hires will be veterans.  As a U.S. Army Warrant Officer (Ret.), M2 Global President Douglas Carlberg knows what an asset a veteran can be to his workforce.  Carlberg has observed that former military perform extremely well in high-technology manufacturing roles, noting that “Veterans bring a unique set of skills to the job.  They are disciplined, focused, and know the importance of completing a mission.”

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) has been leading the Revitalization of Manufacturing and the Reshoring Initiative, which encourages policy-makers, educators, and industry associations and operations executives to join in developing efforts focusing on bringing jobs back home by creating local and state jobs.  By offering plant tours and workshop, AME can provide the needed assistance in closing performance gaps for businesses and their workforce.

In addition to these educational and training initiatives, the AME has embarked on a project using Lean tools and methodology to revamp the calming device (called the squeeze machine) designed by Dr. Temple Grandin.  This project is designed to increase access to the machine to help individuals with autism and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health problem that can occur after a person experiences a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster.

Investing in the future of our students and returning veterans by providing the “right” education and training to sustain and enhance our competitiveness is imperative if we wish to once again become the world’s leading manufacturing powerhouse, noted Glenn Marshall, Director at Large, AME, who works at Newport News Shipbuilding, an AME corporate member.  Having a steady supply of highly skilled workers, scientists, researchers, and engineers is viewed as the top driver of manufacturing competitiveness and provides careers in shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing.

This manufacturing strategy calls for people (including veterans), businesses, educational organizations, and the government to work together to create the necessary curriculum and infrastructure, with a tax and regulatory structure supportive of growing the manufacturing base.  The goal of the strategy is to help U.S. citizens gain the necessary skills and abilities to join the workforce, enabling manufacturers to once again design and build at home quality products and services that can be exported around the globe.

About the Association for Manufacturing Excellence

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to the journey of continuous improvement and enterprise excellence.  Established in 1985 to promote awareness of and education in lean manufacturing concepts, the AME is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with international divisions in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.  AME’s membership is composed of a trusted network of volunteers who are committed to leveraging the practitioner-to-practitioner and company-to-company shared-learning experience.  Through engaging workshops, seminars, plant tours, and industry-leading conferences, AME members are continually discovering and implementing new, continuous improvement strategies and best practices.  AME offers its members a multitude of valuable resources to help them stay abreast of current industry developments while improving the skills, competitiveness, and overall success of their organizations.  Join AME in leading the Revitalization of Manufacturing.  For more information, visit our webiste, or E-Mail us.

About the Reshoring Initiative

A 40-year manufacturing industry veteran and retired president of GF AgieCharmilles, Harry Moser founded the Reshoring Initiative to move lost jobs back to the United States.  For his efforts in this initiative, he was named to Industry Week magazine’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2010.  Additional information on the Reshoring Initiative is available at  The initiative’s many sponsoring associations and companies are also acknowledged on the site.

About M2 Global Technology

M2 Global Technology is an SBA disabled veteran-owned, AS9100 and ISO 9000–registered worldwide supplier of radio frequency microwave passive components and value-added services for the defense, telecommunications, and aerospace industries.  The company's president and CEO, Douglas Carlberg, serves as president of AME's Southwest Region.  M2 Global is a recipient of the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award.  The company's offices are located in Washington, DC; and San Antonio, Texas.