5/19/2014 | 3 MINUTE READ

Contributing to the Big Picture

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A society tends to improve and grow through interaction among its members, sharing important information and learning from others’ successes and failures. Manufacturing as an industry is no different, as companies continue to challenge each other to improve, and trade associations such as the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) bring members together to share ideas that help to better meet their operational challenges and focus on new business opportunities.

Since 2004, our mission at Core Powered Inc. has been to change the way North America manufactures by making products and delivering services that meet our customers’ needs.

As a step further in this direction, we are launching a new service from which all profits will be donated to veterans’ training organizations. TPX123 (short for Transfer Parts Exchange, as easy as 1, 2, 3) is an online marketplace where production shops using Hydromat rotary transfer machines can buy and sell surplus attachments and repair parts. This service is a means of connecting those who have excess parts with those who need them. The primary beneficiary of the service will be Workshops for Warriors, a non-profit organization based in San Diego.

Workshops for Warriors provides training, education and certification that transitions U.S. Armed Forces veterans into civilian careers in manufacturing. This service addresses the alarming fact that the unemployment rate for veterans aged 18-24 is almost double the unemployment rate for the civilian population. Along with the obvious value that the veterans derive out of this free service, it has the potential to positively impact manufacturing in North America as a whole.

There’s not a manufacturing company in North America that is not in conversation about the need for highly skilled workers. Some studies estimate as many as 600,000 manufacturing positions are available if only there were appropriate individuals to fill them. Veterans are a natural fit for manufacturing as they’ve already proven themselves as disciplined, eager and highly reliable individuals. All that’s missing for many are the technical skills that make this fit transferable to the industry. The waiting list for Workshops for Warriors attests that there is no shortage of veterans eager to take on this task. In fact, the organization would love to expand its service, but is limited by insufficient funding.

The program is personally inspiring and creates a way for me to give back to the young people who were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice. Along with donating all profits from TPX123, Core Powered Inc. has partnered with WFW Industries—a social enterprise venture and the primary funding source of Workshops for Warriors—to make some parts we would normally make ourselves. In this way, our decade of tool making experience can be shared, and current knowledge about the manufacturing process can be transferred.

By using TPX123, manufacturers can support Workshops for Warriors while also solving certain spare parts inefficiencies. We have designed the program to simplify the process of buying and selling. We have a staff member dedicated to helping shops list their products. Simply contact Core Powered Inc., and we will walk you through the steps from there. Your company’s spare parts could be of significant value to someone else. Now is a great time to get involved with TPX123. As soon as we have $1 million in parts listed, the site will go live and donations to the Workshops for Warriors will begin.

Another way to get involved with Workshops for Warriors is to contact the organization directly (workshopsforwarriors.org), even if you are not sure how you can help. Speaking with its founder, Hernán Luis y Prado, will inspire you as it has inspired me. The program depends on financial and in-kind donations to operate, as it does not receive any municipal, state or federal funding. Supporting the program is a great way to give back while simultaneously strengthening the future of manufacturing in America. It’s not just about the money, but also about sharing your knowledge. Workshops for Warriors is in need of experts to help guide them in providing the best training and education for their veterans, and members of the manufacturing community are best suited for this role.