New podcast episode: Helping military veterans transition to manufacturing

March 1, 2024
In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, Bill Leahy and Paul Lavoie discuss "Unturning Steel" and their efforts to build the skilled labor pipeline.

Bill Leahy is CEO at Renaissance Reliability, a veteran-owned and operated reliability and maintainability engineering consultancy dedicated to American manufacturers. Paul Lavoie is the chief manufacturing officer for the state of Connecticut and is committed to helping manufacturers take advantage of market opportunities to grow their businesses and solidify Connecticut’s reputation as the Silicon Valley of advanced manufacturing.

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The two worked closely on "Unturning Steel," a documentary that helps provide service members with a path forward after returning home.

In the film, Leahy sets out on a hero’s journey to help his fellow veterans bring their talents and experience serving their country to American manufacturing in civilian life. Together with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Leahy created a new offering that provides veterans the support and training they need to find purpose in American manufacturing.

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Leahy and Lavoie recently spoke with Thomas Wilk, editor in chief of Plant Services, Smart Industry’s sister brand, about their work with veterans and how their initiatives are helping to close the skills gap in manufacturing in North America.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, 2.1 million U.S. manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030, so opportunity certainly is there for people transitioning from America's military branches.

About the Author

Scott Achelpohl

I've come to Smart Industry after stints in business-to-business journalism covering U.S. trucking and transportation for FleetOwner, a sister website and magazine of SI’s at Endeavor Business Media, and branches of the U.S. military for Navy League of the United States. I'm a graduate of the University of Kansas and the William Allen White School of Journalism with many years of media experience inside and outside B2B journalism. I'm a wordsmith by nature, and I edit Smart Industry and report and write all kinds of news and interactive media on the digital transformation of manufacturing.