Vincennes University and LIFT Launch New Right Skills Now Program

Machinist training to help transition vets to civilian jobs and fill talent gaps

Vincennes, IN – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) and Vincennes University (VU) today announced the Right Skills NOW program for machinist training. In partnership with LIFT, VU will roll out a CNC Machinist program designed to prepare veterans to transition to civilian jobs as skilled employees with upward mobility potential. The accelerated program of study features national credentials from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills [NIMS] based on skills needed for a career in advanced manufacturing.

LIFT’s partner companies need highly trained workers to move their new technology developments forward,” said Larry Brown, executive director, LIFT. “Veterans are an untapped talent resource that can be quickly trained to fill gaps for many employers."

In Indiana nearly 500,000 separating military personnel will need to find work in the coming year. The Right Skills NOW program is well-designed for veterans because they are able to quickly gain hands-on experience, enhance their skills and enter full-time employment.

Training returning veterans will provide employers with reliable and highly skilled talent that they need,” said Emily Stover DeRocco, Workforce and Education Director, LIFT. “With so many separating military men and women expected and already in Indiana, we have a ready and able workforce that just needs some in demand skills to get started. The Right Skills NOW program is the perfect solution."

Veterans participating in the Right Skills NOW program will train at the newly built Gene Haas Training Center, just 25 miles from downtown Indianapolis. This state-of-the-art, 23,000 square foot center will leverage resources to more than double the number of veterans trained for advanced manufacturing jobs. Partner companies connect with trainees ahead of time and mentor them through the training. Graduates from the program are immediately placed in positions once the program is completed.

Employer partners are important for this project,” said Chuck Johnson, interim President Vincennes University. “Our goal is to increase the supply of technically capable workers for companies and the Right Skills NOW framework makes that possible. We are excited to host this program at Vincennes and train our returning veterans.

For more information on the Vincennes Right Skills NOW program for veterans and other LIFT education and workforce development initiatives, please visit or contact LIFT Workforce & Education Director, Emily DeRocco, at


Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT) is a public-private partnership that will develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies and programs to prepare the workforce. The LIFT region includes 5 states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

LIFT is operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) and was selected through a competitive process led by the U.S. Department of Defense under the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) solicitation issued by the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to create regional hubs to accelerate the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.


Vincennes University, Indiana’s first college, is the State’s premier transfer institution and leader in innovative career programming. The VU community ensures educational access, delivers proven associate and baccalaureate programs, and offers cultural opportunities and community services in a diverse, student-centered, collegiate environment.

Under the guidance of highly experienced administrators, faculty and staff members, Vincennes University students have the opportunity to pursue or advance careers in a number of industry-specific areas of expertise such as: teaching, educational administration, healthcare, physical education and wellness, graphic design, journalism, nursing, sport management, aviation, manufacturing and interior design.