SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Soldiers transitioning out of the military have an opportunity to participate in free or minimal-cost apprenticeships, on-the-job training, employment-skills instruction and internships through the Army Career Skills Program.
The Installation Management Command has 200 opportunities hosted at 32 garrisons, including Fort Eustis, with more than 4,000 employers participating. Overall, the program has achieved an impressive 93 percent career placement rate. Soldiers can take part in the program 180 days prior to transitioning out of the military.
“Since the program’s inception in 2013, more than 17,500 Soldiers have been placed into high-wage positions upon leaving military service, contributing to a steep decline in unemployment compensation payments for the Army,” said Christine Krieger, Indtai Inc. contractor, Army Continuing Education System assistant program manager, IMCOM.
“The Career Skills Program helps Soldiers turn their military know-how into post-service careers,” she emphasized.
Partner employers recognize the benefits of Army values and ethos that prior service members bring to their companies. They know the individuals will remain “Soldiers for Life” with leadership traits that last.
The Career Skills Program has won several prestigious awards, including the American Business Awards Gold Stevies for Best Overall Organization of the Year (governmental) and Best Overall Customer Service Team of the Year (small, nonprofit); the Council of College and Military Educators Barry Cobb Government Organization Award; and the Federal Recognition Awards for Large Teams (second place). The program also was a finalist for the Harvard University Innovation in American Government Award in 2018.
IMCOM’s latest federal career skills program is a collaboration with the Army Civilian Human Resources Agency providing internship at Soldiers’ garrisons with direct appointments to federal careers as HR classifiers and specialists.
Programs vary by Army garrison. Some of the areas covered are heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration; sprinkler fitting; forestry land management; diesel technician; welding; software and computer systems; telecommunications; air frame and power plant; and painting, drywall and glazing.
Efforts are ongoing to increase federal agency participation, expand successful programs, and serve transitioning populations in nontraditional garrison locations.
Soldiers interested in the program should visit the local installation administrator at their Education Center or Transition Office. Additional information also is available at home.army.mil/imcom/index.php/customers/career-skills-program.