FORT HOOD — An international manufacturing company announced Tuesday a major, long-term investment into training Fort Hood soldiers for the manufacturing industry.

Megan Pollock, vice president of strategic communications for Samsung, a South Korean multi-national conglomerate headquartered in Seoul, said the corporation will provide $1 million over the next three years for the Heroes MAKE America program on Fort Hood.

The announcement was made during a Celebration of Veterans luncheon at Club Hood hosted by the national Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Institute. The Manufacturing Institute partnered with Fort Hood’s Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program to provide the 10-week Heroes MAKE America course for soldiers transitioning out of the Army and provides critical training and certifications for manufacturing careers, said Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute.

“We’ve got 484,000 jobs open in the (manufacturing) sector,” Lee said, quoting the September statistics from the Department of Labor. “We’ve been hovering around 500,000 for about a year now. We project that ... between 2015 and 2025 we’ll have over 2 million jobs that will go unfilled because we don’t have the workers. Programs like Heroes are working to build and help fill that gap.”

Fort Hood garrison commander Col. Henry “Hank” Perry added that soldiers of all occupational skills have the perfect skill set for high-paying jobs in the manufacturing industry.

“Potential participants (soldiers) all have valuable soft skills; time management, reliability, the ability to lead or follow depending on the situation,” Perry said. “They’re also decision makers. No matter what rank they are transitioning out of the military as, they have been looked upon and trained as a valuable decision-maker in our organization.”

For more information on training opportunities such as Heroes MAKE America, contact the Fort Hood Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program at 254-288-2227 Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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