Transitioning out of the Army does not have to be a lone process, the staff of the Fort Campbell Career Skills Program and Fort Campbell Career Center and Campus provide support through counseling and career-ready programs to make it smoother to enter civilian workforce world.
There are 14 career skills programs offered on Fort Campbell, as well as other program routes that can be arranged, such as personal apprenticeship. Personal apprenticeships are one-on-one training arrangements that can be coordinated if a traditional class is not available in a field of study.
“We have multiple services all under one roof,” said Teresa English, CSP Region 1 program coordinator. “We have our CSP programs which provides training opportunities for Soldiers during their last six months to ensure they have a new career that will take care of themselves and their Families when they leave the gates of Fort Campbell. Some of our programs are also available for spouses and veterans.”
Four new programs were recently started, and offer a variety of career paths for Soldiers to consider.
The Ryder program is a free 12-week program during which Soldiers can train into proficient diesel mechanic technicians. The first class graduated Aug. 29.
“This is a special program,” English said. “Soldiers can only participate if they have a mechanical background. Ryder trains participants into becoming a higher-level diesel technician for their big diesel trucks they service. They have a guaranteed job at Ryder after the program, it’s free but they have to commit, and once they complete the program they know where they are going to work.”
The Fire Sprinkler Fitter program is 18 weeks long, free and only available to active-duty Soldiers, and is a guaranteed job after completion of the program.
“The fire sprinkler fitter program only has six slots in the program, it’s very competitive,” English said. “Soldiers have to create a resume and interview to compete for a spot in the program.”
The Troops to Construction program with the Home Builders Institute, sponsored by Home Depot, is a free 12-week program for training in carpentry, which is available to active-duty Soldiers, veterans and spouses.
“They teach Soldiers the construction trade,” English said. “They have a new classroom out on Exit 4 by (Old Glory Distilling Company). They rent a site in the industrial district, and they are doing a great job.”
The Mechatronics 10- to 16-week program includes training in electrical, mechanical components, pneumatic and hydraulic controls. It is open to active-duty Soldiers and veterans.
“We are really excited to partner with Heroes Make America for the Mechatronics program,” English said. “This is a program that has been in existence for a long time with Nashville State Community College but now we have a new company that has come in to do the program management. They have a presence in the Manufacturing Institute, so that grants access to 14,000 employers across the country through factory tours and networking events as well.”
According to English, CSP provides unique opportunities to Soldiers that may not have otherwise been available.
“We have approximately 400 Soldiers that transition out of Fort Campbell, of that 400, about five to 10% of them participate in one of my programs,” English said. “We are affecting a small number, but the Soldiers who we are affecting are doing an amazing job of completing the program and getting follow-up employment. Applications have to be approved by a Soldier’s battalion commander, and it must be within the last six months of service with recipience of an honorable discharge.”
The CSP program was launched in 2015, and has more than 200 programs available to service members across the country within six regions.
“We have Soldiers from all over, we have Marines, Air Force, Navy, all of the branches can participate,” English said. “We’ve been working so hard on the programs. It is so rewarding with the services we are able to provide. We held a needs assessment in the beginning of the program and approached Soldiers in the Soldier for Life process, and pretty much everything the Soldiers asked for, if there is a demand in that career field, we’ve been able to provide a program for.”
Soldiers interested in the new programs or the other programs available should attend program briefings hosted every second and fourth Tuesday and Wednesday of the month at CSP, 5668 Wickham Ave. The office is open 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Alongside the new programs offered by CSP, the Fort Campbell Career Center and Campus is a new resource for Fort Campbell Soldiers, spouses and veterans. The services are free and provide skill assessments, interview technique instruction, resume assistance, job training and certification.
“We are kind of a one-stop-shop,” English said. “We are a great resource for new spouses seeking employment, they can come to us and get started, as well as Soldiers preparing to transition out of military service.”
For more information on the Fort Campbell Career Center and Campus, call 270-412-1720. For more information about CSP visit https://home.army.mil/campbell/index.php/about/Garrison/dhr/career-skills.