Veterans and their families in New Jersey will now have access to new career training and career placement opportunities thanks to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) -led New Jersey Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium (NJDMCC). Thanks to funds awarded by the Department of Defense – Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, NJMEP and partners from around the state will be able to train veterans and their families to support their transition from military service into the civilian workforce. NJMEP will work to support Picatinny Arsenal’s Joint Center for Excellence for Guns and Ammunition in training and placing veterans and their families in the advanced manufacturing industry which directly contributes to national security and the success of the Defense Industrial Base Sector.
“Advanced manufacturing provides incredible, sustainable career opportunities for our nation’s veterans and their family members. Often, these individuals are a perfect match to support the Department of Defense and its supply chain because of the training and experience they received while enlisted,” Torsten Schimanski, Sr. Director of Workforce Development & Strategic Growth, NJMEP explained. He continues, “This investment into this underserved community will go so far in helping veterans gain the industry-relevant knowledge they will need to make a smooth transition into advanced manufacturing.”
The training opportunities offered by NJMEP and County College of Morris focus on foundational manufacturing skills such as CNC, welding, as well as certifications in safety and production processes. The program is available for 5 years and offers 1,200 participants.
NJMEP is inviting manufacturers and suppliers in the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain to join the newly formed consortium. Below is an example of just some of the partners currently involved:
- New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC)
- The African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ
- The National Armaments Consortium (NAC)
- The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ
- US Manufacturing Institutes
- American Lightweight Materials (ALMMI)
- Advanced Robotics (ARM)
- National Center of Defense Manufacturing (NJDMM)
John W. Kennedy, Ph.D, CEO, NJMEP added, “Not only is the training a key aspect of this exciting initiative, but we will also be working together with industry and community partners to place these newly trained, highly reliable individuals at manufacturing organizations all around the state. It closes the loop, so this amazing population isn’t left to transition back into the civilian world without the support they deserve.”
“I am thrilled to see this grant funding coming to New Jersey that will create job training positions for over 600 veterans and family members over the next five years. Thank you to NJMEP and the many organizations involved, including NJ Pathways, the NJ Veterans Chamber of Commerce, and the County College of Morris, for your ongoing partnership in advocating for the manufacturing sector here in the Garden State. I am proud to have championed this grant program through my work on the House Armed Services Committee, and even prouder to have supported NJMEP in their efforts to secure this federal funding for New Jersey – one of only 6 grant awards across the country for this program,” said Rep. Sherrill.
Under section 846 of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense can establish programs such as The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program to designate and support consortiums in defense manufacturing communities to strengthen the national security industrial base. This project led by NJMEP is a critical component in strengthening the domestic DoD advanced manufacturing supply chain, ensuring a local highly trained workforce pool exists, and at the same time supporting transitioning military families by offering training, and job placement at careers that have an average annual compensation of over $97,000 per year.