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Looking For A Few Good Men To Work In Your Factory?

(Sidebar to "Plugging the Automation Skills Gap" from the August 2007 issue of Automation World)

Jeff Owens, President, ATS
Jeff Owens, President, ATS

Many manufacturers today report a shortage of workers with the right kinds of skills and demeanor. If your company is one of those, you might look at hiring some military veterans.

The strategy works especially well for Advanced Technology Services Inc. (ATS), a Peoria, Ill.-based production equipment maintenance outsourcing firm. About 25 percent of the company’s 2,000-person workforce consists of ex-military people, says ATS President Jeff Owens.

“If you think about the culture that you get in the military of being on-time and orderly, with a spring in your step and a smile on your face, that fits well with our organization,” Owens says. “The skills that they get in maintaining ships and airplanes and helicopters are very much aligned with what we do. We just help them transition their skills from military hardware to machine tools, robotics and factory automation.”

Owens points out that his company is only one of many manufacturing-related companies that have significant initiatives aimed at transitioning military personnel into civilian life. And he encourages others to do the same. “It’s worked out very well for our company,” he says, “but its also good for the country and good for these people who have really dedicated themselves to the United States and sacrificed at lot.”

To see the main story this sidebar was taken from - "Plugging the Automation Skills Gap" - please visit

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