By Eric Lanke, NFPA President/CEO
Special thanks go out to the representatives of FORCE America, Hydraquip, and Womack Machine Supply, the three member companies that joined me on a trip to Fort Hood, Texas to present careers in the fluid power industry to a graduating class of soon-to-be ex-soldiers in the Heroes Makes America (HMA) program.
As I’ve written about before, NFPA is currently one of only three association sponsors of this great program, organized by the Manufacturing Institute. It’s currently working with soldiers on two U.S. Army bases (Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Riley, Kansas) to provide a nine-week manufacturing skills training course prior to their honorable discharges into civilian life. And through the network of association sponsors, the soldiers are given the opportunity to connect with employers in the communities that they’ve chosen to return to.
Our day at Fort Hood began with a luncheon celebration of the program, where several of the graduating soldiers were introduced, and where all of the association and corporate sponsors were thanked. But the afternoon belonged to fluid power when NFPA and the three members mentioned above went into the classroom and presented on opportunities in the fluid power industry. What we found was a sharp and eager group of young men and women – all of whom raised their hands when I asked them how many had had hydraulic oil on their hands before.
NFPA has a database of resumes from both the Fort Hood and Fort Riley graduating classes, all of whom collectively are looking for manufacturing positions in communities across the following 25 U.S. states: