Career Skills Program Helps Soldiers Transitioning out of the Army
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The Army Career Skills Program provides Soldiers transitioning out of the Army with an opportunity to participate in free or minimal-cost apprenticeships, on-the-job training, employment-skills training and internships. IMCOM has 200 career skills programs hosted at 32 garrisons, with more than 4,000 employers that return an impressive 93% career placement rate for Soldiers. Managed by Installation Management Command, the program is open to Soldiers 180 days prior to transitioning out of the military. "Since the program's inception in 2013, more than 17,500 Soldiers have been placed directly into high-wage careers post 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 skills into post-service careers," Krieger said. Partner employers recognize the importance Army values and ethos bring to their companies in direct support of Soldier for Life. The 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.