Why don’t we pay more attention to our veterans? That’s what SEMI and the Manufacturing Institute (MI) have asked. As the trade association for global electronics design and manufacturing, SEMI has joined forces with MI’s Heroes MAKE America initiative. If they’re successful, they’ll build stronger ties between the US military and US manufacturing.
‘About 200,000 men and women transition out of the military each year’, explains Ajit Manocha, SEMI’s President and CEO. ‘They’re highly trained, team-focused, disciplined, and talented–and they have the opportunity to be successful in careers with SEMI member companies.
What’s The Challenge?
Veterans don’t consider themselves equipped for roles in manufacturing. But, says Kathy Garner from SEMI, this couldn’t be further from the truth. She met a young man who claimed he didn’t have industry experience. When she asked him about his role in the military, however, he explained that he disabled bombs. He regularly worked with electrical schematics, followed guidelines, adhered to rigid safety protocols, worked under pressure, and collaborated with a team of equally capable individuals. He had the perfect background.
Since then, SEMI has continued to try to translate military experience to the workforce. As Kathy explains, only 0.5% of the entire US population serves in the military. This means employers often don’t understand the extent of veterans’ training, technical skills, and management experience.
What Are the First Steps?
SEMI and Heros MAKE America will provide member companies with more information about veteran resumes and experience. ‘Our industry hasn’t been very visible to [veterans]’, notes Ajit. ‘Our participation in the Heroes MAKE America initiative will bring more awareness to the ecosystem around the production of the chips that are enabling innovation’.
In addition, SEMI wants to broaden the perspectives of US manufacturers, showing that military veterans bring unique characteristics to the table.
- Well-versed in leading technologies.
- Used to working as a part of high-pressure systems.
- Focused on a higher purpose.
- Practiced in accountability and leadership.
How Can You Chip In?
If you want to get involved in helping more veterans join the manufacturing workforce, you can try some of SEMI’s suggestions for its member companies:
- Set metrics for what percentage of your hires will be veterans.
- Make connections with military transition programmes (TAP) if you’re close to any bases or headquarters.
- Offer diversity training, such as SHRM’s Veterans at Work Certification Programme.
Finally, companies can participate in SEMI’s VetWorks Programme—a toolkit that helps companies develop veteran-friendly messaging, recruitment plans, internships, training programmes, and job fairs. If you think you could benefit from some of these resources, don’t hesitate to reach out to SEMI’s Margaret Kindling at [email protected].
Join the transition!