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March 14, 2013

IVMF veteran employment partner GE announces first class of vets to complete Get Skills To Work Training Program

IVMF veteran employment partner GE announces first class of vets to complete Get Skills To Work Training Program

Marks milestone toward training and matching 100,000 veterans by 2015 

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) is proud to highlight a milestone deliverable of GE’s Get Skills to Work (GSTW) initiative, a broad collation effort of which it is a partner. With an estimated 600,000 open advanced manufacturing jobs across the nation, veterans are often ideal candidates for the jobs. They combine their skills and service in pursuit of American competitiveness to business and industry. GSTW is bringing together major manufacturers to hire veterans and to partner with educators to close skills gaps, where they exist, through training and skills matching for veterans and job openings. GSTW also empowers employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans in their workforce.

GE, in partnership with the Manufacturing Institute, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Alcoa Inc., Boeing and Lockheed Martin, today celebrated the accomplishments of the first group of veterans to complete classes from the GSTW program. Eleven veterans participated in the completion ceremony at Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center, including veterans who completed accelerated skills training in core manufacturing skillsets. The ceremony featured speakers Gary Sinise, actor and president, Gary Sinise Foundation; David Joyce, president and CEO GE Aviation; O’dell M. Owens, president, Cincinnati State; and Jim Golem, president, Cincinnati GSTW Advisory Board and Director of Human Resources, CTL Aerospace Inc.

To ensure that the GSTW skills training meets the immediate needs of local employers, coalition partners worked with local businesses to develop Cincinnati State’s curriculum. This curriculum-building process will be repeated and tailored to each pilot city this year, including Ft. Worth and Houston, Texas; Schenectady, N.Y.; Greenville, S.C.; Durham, N.C.; and Evansville, Ind. To help fill open positions in the Cincinnati area, local manufacturing firms, including GE, CTL Aerospace, Richards Industries, Meyer Tool, Acuren and Rhinestahl will actively review candidates from this new pool of potential employees.

Adam Hemsath, a Cincinnati native, is a veteran who is translating his military skills to civilian employment opportunities. In 2008, he joined the U.S. Air Force at Kadena Air Base, Japan. A member of USAF Security Forces for five years, he led the protection of personnel and resources. Hemsath served in Iraq and trained more than 90 Iraqi security forces. During his service, he earned 13 medals, including the Iraq Campaign medal with bronze star cluster. Today, he is part of the GSTW program and pursuing a career in advanced manufacturing at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

“There are various personal and professional challenges when transitioning from military to civilian life,” says Hemsath. “But now that I have completed my MCCS certificate, I can pursue a long-term career with a focus in industrial mechanical maintenance. These skills will give me the competitive advantage that I need in today’s marketplace.”

“We’re excited to see the partnerships between business and industry, education, workforce development and military members and veterans result in completion of the GSTW program at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College,” says James Schmeling, IVMF managing director and co-founder. “Building on the lessons from this first partnership, we will incorporate case studies and ‘how-to’ guides into our GSTW toolkit to enable others to replicate, adopt and adapt what has been learned here.”

The first milestone in IVMF’s partnership with GSTW took place in February, with the launch of the institute’s digital toolkit for employers, “Veteran Employment Leading Practices: Tools for Engaging Talent.” The dynamic online resource provides practical tools and best practices to assist U.S. employers in hiring veterans.

The IVMF’s Get Skills toolkit is divided into four thematic sections, with relevant sub-sections:

  • Leadership –tools for internal and external messaging on veteran initiatives; collaborative engagement; for veteran-related corporate social responsibility; and for creating corporate cultures that engage the veteran talent pool.
  • Human Resources Processes—processes and practices to support recruiting, hiring, and retaining veteran talent, and creating coordinated and sustained approaches to link veteran skills with the organizational goals of business and industry and other civilian sector employers.
  • Co-Worker & Peer Resources –tools and resources for co-workers and peers to learn about veterans, their education, experience, training, qualifications, and how veterans contribute to the workplace; materials to engage veteran co-workers and for peers to help assimilate veterans into a company’s culture and environment.
  • Preparedness – resources for veterans and their families on the transition from military to civilian status, including resources for employment, education, training, accommodations and workplace supports, and more; information for employers on how to access veteran talent or education for their veterans.

For more information about how to use the GSTW toolkit, click here. To download a printable brochure, click here.

Companies willing to share practices regarding veteran employment may contribute to the toolkit through an online submission form, or may contact the IVMF directly. All companies who collaborate are prominently featured on the site, so that veterans can see those in the public and private sectors who value their contribution to the civilian workforce and to help veterans gain understanding of the employer perspective on veteran hiring, retention and advancement. For more information, or to contribute, contact Schmeling at 315.443.2937 or

Initial investments in GSTW will help 15,000 veterans translate military experience to corresponding advanced manufacturing opportunities and gain the technical skills needed to qualify for careers in this growing sector. The GSTW coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015. Companies and veterans interested in joining this effort or learning more can visit or Facebook at and Twitter @GetSkillstoWork.

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