“Manufacturing provides opportunities for Veterans while diversifying Florida’s growing economy”

By Frank Torres – Guest Author

If you enter a manufacturing facility in Florida you will see many people from different backgrounds and skill levels working together to complete a mission. 

This is why many veterans are finding success in their post-military transition periods and beginning their next chapter in the world of manufacturing. 

The timing is great to pursue such careers in Florida, which is among the national leaders in manufacturing job growth. Just this week, for example, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a $50 million investment to boost the state’s semiconductor industry

Veterans Florida provides opportunities for veterans or separating servicemembers to pursue a career in our state’s booming economy, successfully placing workers in high-demand fields including aviation and aerospace, space and defense systems, and logistics.

If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “Well, I don’t know anything about manufacturing” then you’re exactly who these employers want to talk to. 

The truth is that you will find members of their team who were able to start working after just a few months of training in certification programs. They’re now equipped with the skills needed to build a future with their families after military service. 

You’ll also find college graduates pursuing opportunities as well. Engineers with a deep understanding of how these manufacturing machines are made and operate. 

There are veterans who have studied business and can’t wait to explore opportunities to help these Florida companies expand all over the world. 

All of them have chosen a path in one of the most secure occupational fields available by joining the manufacturing industry. 

Efficient manufacturing operations have the potential to economically support entire communities for generations. We’ve already observed this kind of progress with the auto industry in the Midwest, and raw materials in the Northeast. 

What allows Florida to be different in our pursuit of manufacturing success is the production of components in the areas of aerospace, and chip/semiconductor manufacturing; high-tech fields that the entire country will rely on as we move into the future. These are components being used in our aviation industry and devices you may be using at this very moment to read this sentence. These areas are essential to our way of life and have limitless growth potential. 

As these operations grow, so does the community around them. This also allows for the development of other opportunities for the families of veterans, not unlike what you might find in an area that is home to a major military installation. This familiar environment allows veterans to adjust and succeed as many of them move back into the private sector for the first time since deciding to serve. 

Manufacturing will also continue to strengthen the Florida economy as a whole. While we will always be proud of our success in tourism and agriculture, we can have peace of mind knowing that our self-sustaining industries are growing and aren’t as easily affected by outside conditions such as the weather and international events. 

Veterans will be able to pursue these opportunities in a place they already call home, or someday hope to call home. The state already has one of the biggest veteran populations in the country, and that number grows every day as nearly 1,000 new residents continue to move into the region to enjoy our warm weather and family-friendly communities. 

All of these opportunities in manufacturing are available to Florida veterans at this very moment, even if they haven’t fully separated yet. 

The Department of Defense SkillBridge Program allows servicemembers the opportunity to gain experience with potential employers through apprenticeships in manufacturing and other fields. All of this can be done within half a year of separation while they’re still collecting their salary and benefits. This helps our veterans through their transition into civilian life and sets them up for success by teaching them skills that will be sought by companies as soon as they’re ready to begin. 

Veterans Florida has placed more than 100 servicemembers, from all over the country, into SkillBridge opportunities in Florida and is the state’s primary SkillBridge assistance organization.

Contact Veterans Florida today and learn more about how you can make one of the state’s top industries part of your future!

(Frank Torres is a former Human Resources Specialist in the United States Army and was raised in the Greater Orlando area. He’s currently a writer and enjoys writing about his fellow veterans and their successes.)