LIFT Providing Opportunity for Advanced Manufacturing Certification For Michigan National Guard and Reserve

LIFT’s “Operation Next” expands to support Michigan military members and their families

 DETROIT – LIFT, the Detroit-based, Department of Defense-supported national manufacturing innovation institute, today announced its “Operation Next” advanced manufacturing certification program is being made available to members of the Michigan National Guard and Reserve at the institute’s facility in Corktown.

Operation Next is an innovative, self-paced, manufacturing-focused training and credentialing initiative, which blends hands-on and virtual learning. Michigan Guard and Reserve members are the first military group able to take part in the program since it completed its successful initial pilot for separating military personnel at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Operation Next is currently expanding to additional military installations, providing training opportunities for military spouses, adding curriculum offerings, and opening the program to members of the Guard and Reserve, all with funding provided by the Department of Defense Manufacturing Engineering Education Program.

LIFT will host the Guard and Reserve members at its Learning Lab and guide them through their educational experience in either CNC Operations, Welding, or Industrial Technology Maintenance to the attainment of nationally-portable and industry- recognized credentials from either the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) or the American Welding Society (AWS).

“These servicemen and women have dedicated their lives to serving our country and our state,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of Michigan’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity at a national manufacturing innovation institute right here in Michigan. It’s another reason our state ranks as one of the best places for veterans and service members to live, work, and raise a family.”

“The servicemen and women of the National Guard and Reserve not only selflessly serve and protect our communities and country but also make major contributions to Michigan’s economy,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters, former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “I applaud LIFT and the Department of Defense for their efforts to expand this innovative program, which will help more of our dedicated Guardsmen and Reservists and their families acquire the skillsets needed to launch fulfilling careers in advanced manufacturing.”

“Michigan is home for our Guard and Reserve members, as well as LIFT’s home, so we are proud to be able to provide this opportunity for them and their families,’” said Nigel Francis, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, LIFT. “As a Department of Defense-sponsored national manufacturing innovation institute, our goal is to drive American manufacturing into the future through technology and talent development.  Bringing Operation Next to Michigan keeps us on that mission.”

Operation Next continues to expand in other areas of the country. Recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LIFT announced that “Operation Next” was being expanded in the industrial sector’s workforce to support small and medium-sized manufacturers and help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in Detroit and Pittsburgh. That expansion is funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and was awarded to LIFT by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Learn more about Operation Next at