Last updateMon, 26 Jul 2021 9pm

Education & Training

Benevolent Dolphins and Flange Sealing Training

FSA Gasket ManualIn the mid-18th century, there was a common theory from sailors that dolphins are a mariner’s best friend. It had come from stories of those who had fallen overboard close to shore—they felt dolphins saved their lives by pushing them towards shore when they had no clue what direction to swim. Sailors thought these creatures of the sea were looking out for them.

Today this story is often used in discussions about the quality of scientific data by illustrating cherry picking of data clusters. In this case, only people who survived falling overboard are “submitting the data.” If someone fell overboard and the dolphin pushed that person out to sea, he would not live to tell the story and the data would be excluded. Perhaps it is only a coincidence they were being pushed to shore, and that these ocean-loving mammals actually hate humans! Examining only the good data and excluding the bad happens all the time—including with flange sealing maintenance practices where results only include half the data.

Jobs in Manufacturing: Training and Connections for Military Personnel

Manufacturers are looking for qualified workers and military personnel transitioning to civilian life who have valuable skills and are seeking work.

Heroes MAKE America, a program from the Manufacturing Institute (MI), offers training and support to veterans who want to work in manufacturing. The program also partners with manufacturing leaders who are hiring veterans and proactively building supportive communities of veterans within their organizations.



Many employers have found that workers with military experience often have the discipline, focus and organizational skills prized in manufacturing. As one veteran said in a Heroes video, “Just doing what we do naturally will already set you ahead of the curve.” Specific knowledge and skills gained during military service make these prospective employees able to rapidly start contributing in areas such as electronics, mechanics, logistics and information technology.

Unfortunately, the transition from military to civilian life and employment can sometimes be challenging. The same skills go by different terminology, for example, and a veteran may not know how to translate skills gained in the military to fit with civilian job descriptions. The pandemic has added more obstacles. To ease the transition, Heroes provides connection with program participants and alumni and with manufacturers committed to the program.

Since the Heroes program started in January 2018, it has helped participants find jobs at 250 companies in 39 states, said Carolyn Lee, executive director at the Manufacturing Institute, speaking before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity in May of this year. The Heroes program is approved under the Department of Defense SkillBridge program.


The Heroes training program includes instruction in manufacturing skills at five locations in the U.S. and remotely to veterans, National Guard Reservists, service members within 180 days of separation/retirement and their spouses. Training is offered for:

  • Certified Production Technician (CPT)
  • OSHA 10
  • Forklift operation
  • Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)
  • Mechatronics, including testing for the industry-recognized Siemens Level 1 Mechatronic Systems Assistant Certification

This training provides participants with in-demand manufacturing knowledge and skills in safety, quality, maintenance, manufacturing processes and production. Trainings are eight to 15 weeks long and the mechatronics program confers 16 credit hours of college-level study. Included in the training are visits to manufacturing sites and networking opportunities with participating companies. Career readiness instruction and placement support are also integrated into the program. Since its inception, the program has had a placement rate of over 90%, Lee said.


For employers wanting to hire and retain Heroes participants and other talent from the military community, MI offers resources online, including case studies, webinars and a Heroes MAKE America Playbook.

Manufacturers who promote and support hiring veterans have initiatives of their own, highlighted on the Heroes website. Some examples:

  • Dow has adopted the Military Degree Equivalence program. This grants veterans the equivalent of an associate or bachelor’s degree when applying for job openings.
  • Arconic participates in many ways, through national training initiatives like Heroes MAKE America or partnerships with specific military bases. The company is deeply involved in building bridges and helping to ease the transition from military to civilian life.

According to the Heroes MAKE America Playbook executive summary, manufacturers interviewed said that the recruitment, hiring and retention of veterans and the broader military community was not only a moral imperative, but perhaps, more importantly, a business imperative. Many of these manufacturers recognized the positive impact that veterans have on their company culture, morale and, in turn, their bottom line.

“Veterans are well positioned to succeed in a manufacturing career with skills, talents and training that are highly valued in the industry,” said Lee. “And with more than 700,000 manufacturing jobs open today—and 4 million to fill by 2030—they are in great demand. The Manufacturing Institute is committed to helping today’s American heroes become tomorrow’s manufacturing leaders.”  

Where Valves Are Used: Everywhere!

Learn about the many industries in which valves play critical roles in this comprehensive article that was first published in 2017. Read Part 2 of Where Valves Are Used: Everywhere!, to learn about additional end-user markets where valves play important roles.

Valves can be found just about anywhere today: in our homes, under the street, in commercial buildings and in thousands of places within power and water plants, paper mills, refineries, chemical plants and other industrial and infrastructure facilities.

Virtual Valve Forum and Basics Event Draws Attendees from Across the Industry

vector illustration of an abstract scheme which contains people icons vector id1247980427More than 200 people from across the valve industry participated virtually in the VMA Valve Forum and Valve Basics event, which included 4 days of presentations on technical, manufacturing, management and marketing, valves 101, and valve repair. They chose from among 28 different sessions, came together to participate in discussion forums on a variety of topics, asked varied and thoughtful questions of the presenters, networked with others during hundreds of group and private chats, and explored product offerings via video demos posted by the event’s supporters.

Valve Forum + Basics Provides Multiple Ways to Learn and Connect

One of the advantages of having VMA’s Valve Forum and Valve Basics program as a virtual event is that attendees have access to the materials and information up to a month after the event is held. In other words, registrants can pick and choose which sessions they want to attend live the week they are aired (Nov. 9-12), and then listen to the sessions and see demonstrations such as those that are part of the Valves 101 lessons as well demonstrations by vendors, when their schedule allows.

The depth of knowledge and range of topics for the week are vast. For example, during the valve basics sessions (Nov. 9-10), attendees can learn about the different types of valves and related equipment such as linear, check, pressure relief, quarter-turn plug, ball and butterfly valves as well as an overview of manual actuation.

VALVE Magazine Print & Digital


 Print magazine*
• Digital magazine
• VALVE eNews
*available for U.S addresses 

READ the latest issue of VALVE
past digital editions

Looking for a career in the Valve Industry?

ValveCareers Horiz

To learn more, visit the Valve Careers YouTube channel to watch the videos below or visit ValveCareers.com a special initiative of the Valve Manufacturers Association

  • Latest Post

  • Popular

  • Links

  • Events

New Products