Florida TRADE @HCC Helps Veterans Join the High-Tech Workforce

Florida TRADE@HCC coordinated a facility visit for veterans and military-in-transition as part of 
National Manufacturing month in Florida. The visit, part of the program called “T-VETs of Hillsborough,” provides veterans and military-in-transition the opportunity to tour manufacturing facilities throughout the county. “T-VETs of Hillsborough” initiative seeks to help increase the pipeline of talent for the manufacturing industry by introducing veterans and military-in-transition to manufacturing as a viable career.

The facility visits consisted of a short presentation, a tour of the facility’s operations, and a panel 
discussion with key personnel. Chromalloy Castings in Tampa, hosted the tour, exhibiting what is said to be one of the most technologically advanced modern casting facilities in the world. This facility features advanced, cutting edge technology from shell lines that fine-tune process control to furnaces that enable the production of the entire range of complex aero, aero derivative, industrial gas turbine and heavy industrial components.

Participants were able to observe the full production process of casting, a process by which a liquid material is poured into a mold containing a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then is allowed to solidify. The solidified part, also known as a casting, is broken out of the mold to complete the process. The process, while it involves some manual labor, is heavily dependent on robotics and electronics to create a perfect part. Among other things, Chromalloy manufactures parts for jet engines, and participants were able to understand the importance of detail and quality in each stage of the production process.

Veterans working at Chromalloy committed a portion of their workday in a Q & A session with
participants. The veteran employees, all from different departments --- accounting, production, purchasing among others --- told participants a bit about their background and what they did to successfully secure a job in the manufacturing industry. Several subjects were covered from managing expectations in civilian life, education and training, resume, interviews and selling your military skills the right way to potential employers.

Economic Development Manager with Hillsborough County, Ken Jones stated “the tour helped open
the eyes of veterans to better understand career opportunities within the manufacturing industry.” Some of these opportunities include production, R&D, quality control, maintenance, welding, finance, and logistics, to name a few. We would like to thank Chromalloy Castings, FLATE, Hillsborough County, Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturing Association and Career Source Tampa for their support of “T-VETs of Hillsborough”.

If you are a veteran and would like to join our tours visit http://fltradehcc.com, or contact Miguel Angel Garcia at mgarcia147@hccfl.edu, or Ms. Kirsten Miller at kmiller18@hccfl.edu.

This article was contributed by Miguel Angel Garcia, FL TRADE @HCC

Additional Points of Interest

Veteran Organization Fair at HCC-Dale Mabry

Symposium for Vets at HCC, Brandon Campus on Nov. 15.