Operation Next is Free to Florida, Iowa, Montana, Puerto Rico residents ages 18 and older.

Operation Next is Free to Florida, Iowa, Montana, Puerto Rico residents ages 18 and older.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your most important questions below.
If you need assistance please give us a call at (313) 574-2589.

Find answers to your most important
questions below.
If you need assistance please give
us a call at (313) 574-2589.

Operation Next provides training in advanced manufacturing skills for Florida, Iowa, Montana, and Puerto Rico residents 18 years and older.

Active-duty personnel who are within six months of separation from service, veterans, Reservists, military spouses, and their dependents, ages 18 years and older are also eligible. 

THERE ARE NO OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES FOR THIS TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAM! Housing is not included. Operation Next is powered by LIFT, the Department of Defense national manufacturing innovation institute. 

The training and certificate programs consist of about 400 hours of online learning and practical lab exercises. Typically the training can be completed in less than six (6) months. Each student will meet with the instructional team and receive a personalized instructional plan. The training may take more or less time based on the students background and availability. Some students have completed the training in as little as 3 months.

Depending on which program of study, students will be eligible for national Certification from AWS for Welding, NIMS for Industrial Maintenance and CNC Manufacturing and SACA for Robotics.

Operation Next is a self-paced, flexible program with rolling enrollment. Enroll today and start tomorrow!

The lab activities are conducted under the supervision of an instructor at one of the facilities listed on the Operation Next home page.

The programs use a blended learning model that combines online learning with practical learning experiences conducted in the lab. The online learning is available to the student 24/7, the lab is available daytime, evenings, and weekends.

There are no prerequisites for acceptance into the program! Math skills that are required will be taught in context with the course content.

Hybrid learning combines online instruction with practical skills learning in the classroom/lab. This type of learning is best suited for adult learners that cannot commit to a set class schedule because of their work/duty/life schedule.

It is possible that students completing the program may be able to receive college credit for completion of the training program. Please speak with the program director to learn more.   

To register, please fill out the online form. If you are needing assistance please contact Operation Next at (313) 574-2589.

Several companies are partnering with LIFT and the Operation Next team to provide employment opportunities to those that successfully complete the training and certification. These are high skill-high wage positions at various locations throughout the U.S. Contact an Operation Next representative to learn more.

Training is offered in select college campuses in Florida, Iowa, Montana and Puerto Rico. Programs of study are available at different locations, but not all locations. Please visit OpNextJobs.com to see a list of locations, their program offerings and the contact information. Please contact an Operation Next representative to learn more.

Operation Next is sponsored by LIFT, a Detroit-based nonprofit 501(c)3 public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense, private industry and academia. LIFT is operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute.


Yes the program is SkillBridge approved, and is listed on the SkillBridge website.

No. This training will not effect your benefits, and is free to you.

SkillBridge allows an active-duty member that is transitioning to the private sector with an opportunity to be released from their command to participate in training or apprenticeship opportunities. If SkillBridge is not approved, the active duty member can still register for and complete the training outside of normal duty hours. Before requesting SkillBridge, the student will get a personalized training plan that may include release time.