SMT Magazine

SMT-May2017

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56 SMT Magazine • May 2017 needs for skilled indi- viduals, particularly in our industry, which are mostly aerospace and defense compa- nies. We have worked in conjunction with a lot of our employers and customers to under- stand the skill require- ments for their type of business, and we've developed, in collab- oration with our em- ployers and clients, the general curricu- lum required for a suc- cessful transition into aerospace manufactur- ing. But the issue there is again finding those that are either under- employed or unem- ployed to fill the need. We have tapped into a very strong resource in our transitioning military veterans. In Colora- do alone, we have four military bases that have roughly 600 veterans transitioning into civilian life each month. Blackfox is working with our state employ- ment agencies, through our workforce centers and veterans services, and introducing transi- tioning veterans to this program while they're still in the military. All of our veterans have a timeframe that is given to them for the smooth transition into civilian life while they're still paid by the military. They are able to look for the standard education opportunities and em- ployment opportunities while they're still in the service. We're going upstream, talking to veter- ans at these bases about the program that we're offering. This program is typically sponsored through training grants, so typically there's no expense for our veterans coming into this pro- gram and there's no expense for our employers that consider hiring our graduates. We develop a very comprehensive, com- pressed five-week program that introduces vet- erans and civilians to this industry. We ex- pose them to the in- dustry and make sure it's something they're interested in. We don't want to place anyone in the industry who doesn't feel comfort- able in it. We make sure they have the in- terest, the dexterity, and the aptitude for electronic manufac- turing before we ask them to invest their time and for us to in- vest any of our time into this program. Once they go through that and they feel like it's something they'd like to pursue, then they start to program with Blackfox. Clearly we're do- ing this in Longmont, Colorado, and we're expanding a second office in Colorado Springs, which is close to the mil- itary bases, so we don't have the logistic issue with transporting them for five weeks from Col- orado Springs to Longmont, which is a couple hours of commuting. We're setting up a new of- fice there, but the program in general is a five- week program, 200 hours, and it's an advanced manufacturing certification. It's an accredited program and it'll dovetail into future education that most of our employers offer, and they can pursue a four-year degree in advanced manu- facturing if they wish. But they're prepared to at least be successful when they move into our employer company. Most of our employers of- fer an on-the-job training or an internship that this program dovetails into nicely as well. There's no cost to the employer. There's no cost to the veteran. Blackfox does this not as a huge profit venture for us. We do because it's the right thing to do for the veterans. In a nut- shell, that's our program. During the five-week program timeline, we set aside a couple of days BLACKFOX PROGRAM TRAINS VETS FOR MANUFACTURING JOBS Allen Dill

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