SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), in conjunction with Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 159-year-old company in the global business of safety, security, protection and sport, announced that several military veterans graduated today from a specialized training program and that a number of the graduates have been offered employment by Smith & Wesson.
The Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) continues to make employment a priority for veterans in the Commonwealth. DVS partnered MassMEP and Smith and Wesson in order to provide training and certifications for veterans in the workforce. Veterans were referred to the program through DVS, Veterans' Service Officers, and One-stop Career Centers. Additionally, the Holyoke Soldiers' Home provided space for interviews and coordination.
"We are proud to join with MassMEP and Smith & Wesson to put Massachusetts' veterans back to work," said Secretary of Veterans Services Coleman Nee. "Veterans bring extensive skills to the workforce and pairing that with comprehensive training programs like this benefits both the veteran and the employer. This is a great step toward strengthening our veterans and our communities."
The Mobile Outreach Skills Training (M.O.S.T. ®) program is a fast-track, intensive skills training, recruitment, assessment and placement program that prepares unemployed and underemployed individuals, including returning veterans and minorities, for production jobs in less time than traditional programs. Training was conducted over a period of two weeks in a state-of-the-art, mobile training facility stationed by MassMEP on Smith & Wesson property.
Bill Lachenmeyer, Vice President of Human Resources for Smith & Wesson, said, "At Smith & Wesson we have long supported veterans through a number of programs and sponsorships, so we were especially pleased to participate in the M.O.S.T.® program, which is taking specific action to get veterans integrated into the workforce. MassMEP streamlined the process, from candidate selection to administering the program. The true sign of success occurred today, as these trainees graduated and we immediately offered them full time manufacturing jobs."
The M.O.S.T.® program provides quick-start job training for small and mid-sized manufacturers seeking entry-level workers. The program's mobile training unit is outfitted with state-of-the-art training equipment that allows participants an opportunity to upgrade or learn new manufacturing skills. Because of its mobility, the program is able to move to areas where jobs and potential employees are located. The unit is generally situated onsite at an employer's facility or other location convenient for trainees and the company. Training, which is often customized to suit the needs of the participating employer, helps reduce the time typically required for new employees to become fully productive.
"Programs like M.O.S.T.® are vitally important to our communities and to our returning veterans," said Dr. Claudia Follet, Director of Grants and Partnership Development for Time Wise Management Systems. "While the national unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is 9.6%, the unemployment rate for returning veterans between the ages of 18-24 is at 21.1%. This high percentage of unemployment is due partly to stereotyping veterans' fitness for employment, such as inadequate technology skills and lack of education.
"The M.O.S.T.® program identifies jobs prior to training, trains hard-to-serve populations for high wage jobs with benefits, fills the existing skills gap, and has a job retention rate of 87%. It is a tremendous program that has been successfully implemented in Mississippi, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and in Florida," added Follet.
For more information on the M.O.S.T. ® program, visit www.timewisemost.com or contact Dr. Follet at 321-266-0677.
The MassMEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP system is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business "coaches" whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits and enhanced global competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.MassMEP.org.
About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (SWHC) is a U.S.-based, global provider of products and services for safety, security, protection, and sport. The company delivers a broad portfolio of firearms and related training to the military, law enforcement, and sports markets, and designs and constructs facility perimeter security solutions for military and commercial applications. Smith & Wesson companies include Smith & Wesson Corp., the globally recognized manufacturer of quality firearms; Universal Safety Response, Inc., a full-service perimeter security integrator, barrier manufacturer, and installer; and Thompson/Center Arms Company, Inc., a premier designer and manufacturer of premium hunting firearms. Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. For more information on Smith & Wesson and its companies, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to http://www.smith-wesson.com/; http://www.usrgrab.com/; or http://www.tcarms.com/.