Report: Manufacturers are embracing military-affiliated talent

Feb. 9, 2024
The purpose of the study was to investigate how manufacturers have successfully transitioned military-affiliated personnel into the industry.

The Manufacturing Institute (MI) has just released its latest report, “Transitioning Military-Affiliated Talent into Manufacturing.” Created in partnership with Colonial Life, the report showcases research conducted from September to November 2023. The purpose of the study was to investigate how manufacturers have successfully transitioned military-affiliated personnel into the industry. According to MI, military-affiliated talent is an untapped resource for many manufacturers. These workers offer a unique perspective, as well as positively affecting company culture.

In addition, the researchers examined the effectiveness of MI’s Heroes MAKE America (HMA) initiative, which has been in place since 2018. The program is designed to prepare military-affiliated talent for a career in manufacturing, in addition to connecting companies with qualified workers.

In an excerpt from the report’s executive summary, authors Chad Moutray and Anjana Gigi Radhakrishnan write: “As labor shortages continue, underpinned by structural demographic shifts, manufacturers can gain a competitive edge by incorporating talent from the greater military community (for example, transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard, reservists and military spouses) into their recruitment pipelines. The military-affiliated talent pool is large. There were 8.6 million veterans employed in 2022, with 12% in manufacturing. More importantly, research suggests that veterans remain with their initial company 8.3% longer than nonveterans and are 39% more likely to be promoted earlier than nonveterans. Beyond individuals who served in the military, military spouses are a significantly under-tapped segment of the military-affiliated community, with an unemployment rate of 22%.”

Download the report