North Kingstown, Rhode Island – Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is supporting Workshops for Warriors (WFW), a non-profit school created to train military veterans in the field of advanced manufacturing. Hexagon has contributed several portable ROMER Absolute Arms to help expand the program into metrology education with industrial grade equipment and expert mentoring. Located in San Diego, California, a major manufacturing hub and one of the largest U.S. military towns, Workshops for Warriors has produced 421 graduates earning 2,500 nationally recognized certifications from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the American Welding Society, and more. As the industry evolves toward the Smart Factory, the addition of metrology training at WFW is meeting the demand for workforce proficiency in measurement, inspection, quality assurance and emerging data-driven processes now fueling new and advanced manufacturing practices.
Hernàn Luis y Prado, the school's founder who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, wanted to help his community of veterans struggling in their transition back to civilian life. Since 2008, Hernàn has built a successful vocational training program for his fellow service members to learn and earn portable and stackable credentials in their chosen manufacturing career field. In addition to metrology instruction, the organization offers classes in welding and fabrication, CAD/CAM programming, CNC machining/turning, and machinery repair and maintenance. Instruction is offered by skilled veterans, active-duty service-members and industry experts. Hexagon has provided its expert-level knowledge base and technical support to the school.
"Hexagon is the #1 metrology solutions provider in the world. We wanted to partner with the engineering leader that is more interested in products than the hype," states Luis y Prado, Workshops for Warriors founder and CEO. "Hexagon provides calibration services for their products locally which is important to us, and supports the needs of our dynamic hands-on teaching environment. Most manufacturers in our area already have Hexagon technologies, so students can gain experience on industrial grade equipment here, then move into a real manufacturing environment. Employers have told us specifically that having graduates with metrology training and experience on Hexagon equipment is one of the main reasons why they were hired. In fact, one manufacturer recently offered seven jobs to our graduate students.
"Metrology is crucial for Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing as a whole. Students trained in metrology can confirm what they build – verify if a part is actually what they intended to produce or reverse engineer. Veterans are taught to use billion-dollar pieces of equipment in the military. You train like you fight, and when you fight, you fight like you were trained. WFW wants to place an incredibly powerful portable CMM into the hands of twenty-something veterans and have them master that device. They can take that vital skill set and create a burst of innovation in America led by Workshops for Warriors graduates,” Luis y Prado says.
"Workshops for Warriors is an incredibly worthy cause that we are proud to support with technology, expertise, and mentoring," states Steve Starner, director of business development – aerostructures, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. "Many veterans already possess mechanical and technical proficiencies gained from their military training. As the field of manufacturing continues to reinvent itself, military veterans can play a crucial role in this resurgence and forge long-term, high tech careers. Industry demand will continue to grow for qualified, metrology-savvy workers, as world class manufacturers expand their R&D and data analytics capabilities to innovate product development and new processes."