Veterans to get boost from jobs initiative

Initiative looks to translate military skills to manufacturing, private sector jobs


The American Jobs for America’s Heroes (AJAH) National Guard and veterans’ jobs campaign joined with First Lady Michelle Obama and the current White House initiative to help service members and veterans find and qualify for quality jobs in the private sector.


“The men and women who serve in the National Guard or have served in the military branches are trained, skilled, and equipped to move into private sector employment in many fields, including manufacturing,” said Bill Gaskin, president of Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), which represents the $113 billion metalforming industry in North America with 900 member companies.  PMA is a member of the AJAH campaign.


“The process of transitioning from the military to the private sector presents obstacles that our industry, the AJAH campaign, and the federal government’s current push will address,” said Dave Tilstone, president of the National Tooling and Machining Association, which represents the $40 billion tooling and machining industry with 2,000 members and 50 chapters nationally.  NTMA is a member of the AJAH campaign.


The AJAH campaign, made up of more than 80 trade and professional associations, non-profit organizations, and state Chambers of Commerce representing more than 150,000 companies nationwide, is a non-profit alliance with the National Guard to help unemployed National Guard members, veterans and spouses find skilled jobs in the private sector.  Phillips 66, an energy manufacturing and logistics company, is the lead national sponsor for this campaign.  Currently, 60,000 National Guard members are unemployed – approximately 20% of the total force.


First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement of the new IT credentialing and training effort underscores the ongoing challenge of “translating military experience in hundreds of disciplines to match private sector jobs requirements,” said Steve Nowlan, president of Center for America, a non-profit coordinating the AJAH campaign.


AJAH provides direct, hands-on support for employers and for job applicants, serving both as a critical stand-alone program and an important complement to existing employment efforts and job fairs.  Job postings are plugged directly into a case management system that unifies National Guard Employment Network and voluntary state supports groups around the nation into a unified infrastructure to improve matching and follow-through.


Employers who want to post open positions on National Guard and veteran’s job banks can sign up through the Center for America Website at:


The Center for America ( is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 that focuses its national efforts on educating and empowering the public about barriers to free enterprise, the need for expanded skills training and job creation, and the impact of lawsuit abuse on reducing job creation.

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