With the drawdown of the U.S. military forces, there will be an increase in the number of service members transitioning to the civilian workforce. East Carolina University (ECU) has been partnering with community colleges in the state to help with the transition. The Tools for Advanced Manufacturing for Veterans (TAMV) education program is one of their initiatives. The next three-week TAMV class will start October 14th at Craven Community College. The course is offered at no cost to transitioning service members and qualified veterans.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for higher education to help veterans successfully transition to civilian life and to bolster our region’s workforce with technically-skilled and leadership-oriented workers who have served their country,” said Ruthann Cage, director of industry and economic development at ECU. Cage said that TAMV has been funded by a grant from Duke Energy Foundation, which will allow for five more classes to be held at community colleges through 2015.
The TAMV course offered by CCC will include hands-on training for national certifications including Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 30 safety training, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), and WorkKeys certificates. The OSHA 30 class teaches students OSHA 1926 General Industry Standards for workplace health and safety. Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt teaches students about business process improvement techniques. Students learn how to breakdown processes to discover improvements such as enhanced quality, increased efficiency and reduced cost.
In addition to the training, students will take career assessment tests, prepare resumes, participate in mock interviews, and tour local manufacturing facilities such as Weyerhauser and Tandemloc. “Many service personnel have not had an opportunity to interview outside of the military, so this class gives them good practice,” said Cage.
“The course was designed with input from area manufacturing companies so that military could receive a hands-on orientation to industry,” said Robin Matthews, interim dean of workforce development at CCC. Matthews said the courses will be taught by ECU and CCC instructors on the New Bern and Havelock campuses. These certifications are nationally recognized by industry, and some certifications, such as the NCRC, are often required of prospective employees to be considered eligible for employment.
Students receive a survey from ECU about six months after they complete the course to measure outcomes. Outcomes measured include the percentage of students who passed the national certification exams, students who have been offered jobs in and outside of the region, students who start a business, and students who enroll in higher education.
“From my perspective as a retired Marine, the TAMV course offers our military invaluable experience and training that will help them successfully transition to the civilian workforce,” said Matthews.
For more information about TAMV, contact Gery Boucher, special assistant to CCC’s executive vice president, at 252-638-7283, or Cage at 252-737-1343. Program information and application can also be found online: http://www.ecuinnovate.org/ornc/projects/tools-for-advanced-mfg-for-vets
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.