May 18, 2024

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For Christopher Wilf, joining the armed services is a family tradition.
“When I was growing up, my dad was in the military, his dad was in the military, and my mom’s side of the family had people in the military,” said Wilf. “When I was 16 and trying to plan out my future, my high school had a recruiting station with all four branches. I went in asking for information and went from there.”
Wilf had a four-year plan: to join the military, gain some skills and earn some money. But as he prepares to exit his role as a warrant officer in the U.S. Army more than 21 years later, it’s clear that the experience was a better and more long-lasting fit than he expected.
The next step: After two decades working in military aviation, Wilf wanted to try his hand at something else—and when he was introduced to the MI’s Heroes MAKE America program at Fort Stewart, outside Savannah, Georgia, he saw an opportunity for a new career.
The program: The MI designed Heroes MAKE America as an integrated certification and training program that helps prepare transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard members, reservists and military spouses for careers in the manufacturing and supply chain industries. It offers in-person and remote training options, as well as career guidance and placement support.
The results: Through the Heroes program, Wilf is working as a warehouse distribution manager at the Target distribution center in Midway, Georgia—and he credits Heroes with offering him the training to succeed.
Good advice: “Go into Heroes seriously, with a mindset of ‘I am doing this for myself and my career, to better myself and gain knowledge that makes me marketable in the civilian world,’” said Wilf.
The transition: It’s clear from Wilf’s experience that the skills he gained in the military make him a strong fit for manufacturing—and that the industry can provide him with a long-term career.
A pitch for manufacturing: “If you’re looking for a field where you can get a job, with potential for upward growth, then manufacturing is it,” said Wilf. “From being at the warehouse level to working in management at headquarters, that potential for growth is real.”
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