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April 2023

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Pensacola State College Partners with LIFT's Operation Next Program

LIFT, the Detroit-based Department of Defense (DOD) national manufacturing innovation institute, and Pensacola State College have announced a partnership to provide free training to transitioning service members, National Guard, Army Reserves and their families for careers in advanced manufacturing through LIFT's Operation Next initiative. The program has recently expanded to serve veterans as well.

Through LIFT and the DOD, Operation Next provides an accelerated hybrid program that combines online education with hands-on training to earn credentials for in-demand careers in advanced manufacturing. Pensacola's rolling start program will train students in Computer Numeric Control (CNC) and Welding. Each year 200,000 service members transition out of the military across the nation.

Serving Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Northwest Florida, the Pensacola area is home to military bases from virtually all branches of the military, including: Saufley Field, Whiting Field and Forrest Sherman Field/Naval Air Station, home of the Blue Angels.

"LIFT's work in Florida, particularly its partnership with Pensacola State College through Operation Next, will have a tremendous impact on our workforce and benefit our servicemembers," said Dr. Edward Meadows, President, Pensacola State College. "We look forward to Operation Next serving the panhandle region and LIFT expanding its presence in the Sunshine State."

"Pensacola State College has a proud history of serving military members dating back 75 years," said Kelby Thornton, Coordinator, Corporate Professional Development, Pensacola State College. "Military veterans will be training our Operation Next exiting military students for credentials that will enable them to go to work, including through leveraging our extensive alumni network, or continue their education."

"Partnerships like these are critical for Operation Next to have the impact it is designed to have and provide opportunities for our service members and their families," said Marianne Donoghue, Senior Director, Talent Programs, LIFT. "We greatly welcome the opportunity to work with Pensacola State College to bring Operation Next to Northwest Florida and help these servicemembers begin their advanced manufacturing careers."

Operation Next is currently training former military members and their spouses in 14 locations across the continental United States and Puerto Rico. It is estimated that nearly 2 million advanced manufacturing workers will be needed to fill vacant positions in the U.S. by 2028.

For more information contact:


1400 Rosa Parks Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48216


Pensacola State College

1000 College Blvd.

Pensacola, FL 32504


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