US manufacturers unveil plans to train veterans for factory jobs

NEW YORK Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:59am EDT

NEW YORK Oct 15 (Reuters) - Four of the largest U.S. manufacturers on Monday unveiled plans for a new group committed to train military veterans to work in the manufacturing sector.

General Electric Co, Alcoa Inc, Boeing Co and Lockheed-Martin Corp said they would provide an undisclosed amount of financial support to the "Get Skills to Work Coalition," which will initially aim to train some 15,000 veterans.

The group, to be announced at an event in New York, will be managed by the Manufacturing Alliance trade organization.

Some 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States have gone unfilled because companies cannot find workers with the appropriate skills to work in high-tech, high-speed modern factory environments, according to a study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte.

That has been a particular frustration for U.S. policymakers as stubbornly high unemployment has been one of the main barriers to the nation's economic recovery from a brutal 2007-2009 recession.

The four founding companies collectively employ 64,000 veterans.