South Puget Sound Community College Partners with LIFT’s Operation Next Program to Train Transitioning Soldiers, Military Spouses and Veterans for Careers in Advanced Manufacturing

LIFT, the Detroit-based, Department of Defense national manufacturing innovation institute, and South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) have announced a partnership to provide free training & national certifications to transitioning service members, National Guard, Army Reserves, and their families for careers in advanced manufacturing through LIFT’s Operation Next initiative. The program has recently expanded to serve veterans as well.

Each year 200,000 service members transition out of the military across the nation, Operation Next provides training and certification so those transitioning will be able to fill critical high-skill high-wage career positions in advanced manufacturing at locations across the nation.

Through LIFT and the Department of Defense, Operation Next provides an accelerated-hybrid training program that combines online education with hands-on training to earn credentials for in-demand careers in advanced manufacturing. SPSCC will train students for Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machinist course certifications. SPSCC provides access to the U.S. Army Reserve base in Tumwater, Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Pierce County, and the U.S. Government Marine Base in Lacey.

“This training program, which combines theory, hands on skill development, and on-site internships with employers, is unique and very effective.  The funding for this program allows us to support the military personnel from the beginning class to placement in a job and is a great example of bringing all parties together towards a common goal,” said Noel Rubadue, Dean for Corporate and Continuing Education, South Puget Sound Community College.

“SPSCC has a proud history of serving military members,” said Andrew Garate, Operation Next Program Coordinator. “Operation Next provides training and certification programs for exiting military members, enabling them to transition to high skill-high wage careers. Additionally, veterans and military family members benefit from this program by obtaining career skills that are portable and in demand nationwide.

“Partnerships like these are critical for Operation Next to realize the nationwide impact the program is designed to accomplish and provide opportunities for our service members and their families,” said Marianne Donoghue, Senior Director, Talent Programs, LIFT. “We greatly welcome the opportunity to work with SPSCC to bring Operation Next to Washington and help eligible service members begin their advanced manufacturing careers.”

Operation Next is currently training eligible military, family members, and veterans at 14 locations across the continental United States and Puerto Rico. It is estimated that nearly 2 million advanced manufacturing workers will be needed to fill vacant positions in the U.S. by 2028.