LIFT offers certification to Michigan National Guard and Reserve members

DETROIT—LIFT, the Detroit-based, Department of Defense-supported manufacturing innovation institute, today announced its “Operation Next” advanced manufacturing certification program is being made available to members of the Michigan National Guard and Reserve at the institute’s facility in Corktown.

Operation Next is an innovative, self-paced, manufacturing-focused training and credentialing initiative that blends hands-on and virtual learning. Michigan Guard and Reserve members are the first military group able to take part in the program since it completed its successful initial pilot for separating military personnel at Fort Campbell, Ky. Operation Next is currently expanding to additional military installations, providing training opportunities for military spouses, adding curriculum offerings, and opening the program to members of the Guard and Reserve, all with funding provided by the Department of Defense Manufacturing Engineering Education Program.

LIFT will host the Guard and Reserve members at its Learning Lab and guide them through their educational experience in either CNC Operations, Welding, or Industrial Technology Maintenance to the attainment of nationally portable and industry-recognized credentials from either the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) or the American Welding Society (AWS).

Operation Next continues to expand in other areas of the country. Recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LIFT announced that “Operation Next” was being expanded in the industrial sector’s workforce to support small and medium-sized manufacturers and help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in Detroit and Pittsburgh. That expansion is funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and was awarded to LIFT by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Learn more about Operation Next at

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is a public-private partnership between the Department of Defense, private industry, and academia, developing advanced manufacturing technologies, and developing the future workforce to staff them. LIFT is managed through the U.S. Office of Naval Research. More at

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