Transitioning from military to civilian life can be a daunting task as service members seek new lives outside the fence line. The inaugural Career Transition Program hopes to eliminate some of the uncertainty that comes with this new phase of their lives and help transitioning and retired military and spouses connect with potential employers.
The Fort Meade Alliance, in partnership with Anne Arundel Workforce Development and Howard County Workforce Development and the Fort George G. Meade Garrison, has created a unique pilot program to help these individuals navigate into civilian careers.
The program, funded by the Fort Meade Alliance Foundation with a grant through the Local Development Council (LDC), seeks to bridge the gap in the local workforce pipeline.
“The Career Transition Program started as an idea from the past and present FGGM Garrison Commanders to provide an efficient pathway for separated/retired military and spouses to find employment opportunities,” said Doreen Harwood, FMA Education & Workforce Development Chair. “The idea is becoming a reality with the help of our dedicated partners and supportive FMA member companies. It’s amazing how this community comes together to support the military and their families.”
Nearly 20 local businesses have already joined the program including FMA members Athenix Cyber & Sigint Solutions, BigBear.ai, Boeing, the Defense Information Agency, RealmOne, LG-TEK, Lockheed Martin Corporation, M.C. Dean, Inc., ManTech International Corporation, Peraton, Praxis Engineering Technologies, Inc, Tower Federal Credit Union and University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.
“For decades BigBear.ai has championed veteran employment and workforce transition, and we’re excited to continue that mission through the Career Transition Program,” said Ryan Legge, President of Integrated Defense Solutions at BigBear.ai. “Many of our employees are military veterans and active service members, and we take great pride in the unique skillset that these team members bring to the table.”
Over the next few months, the program will prepare applicants with assessments of their resumes, additional necessary classes for certifications, and interview mastery sessions. The resume assessment will help individuals translate their military expertise into terms easily understood by civilian employers. While the interview mastery classes will educate applicants on etiquette and techniques to enhance their interview skills.
The program ends with a one-day showcase on April 25 at the Maryland Live Casino and Hotel that will match qualified candidates with local employers in a wide range of industries. Candidates will have set appointments throughout the day to meet with employers that match the criteria they are seeking in a job and visa versa.
“Helping transitioning service members, veterans, and their Spouses find a career isn’t just the right thing to do for those who decided to serve and support our nation. It is also the right thing to do for the businesses involved because of the skills our service members, veterans, and their spouses bring into the civilian workforce,” said George Matthews, Employment Assistance Program Supervisor, at Fort Meade’s Army Community Service.
“Fort Meade is able to leverage our long-standing relationship with the Fort Meade Alliance and regional workforce development agencies to help our transitioning service members, veterans, and their spouses get the careers they want with organizations that are dedicated to hiring those who served, or those who supported those who served,” Matthews added.
Fort Meade has identified specific industries that transitioning and retired military as well as their spouses are seeking including education, finance, health care, human resources, IT/cyber to name a few— all industries that are looking to fill workforce gaps.
“Businesses have beat a path to the FMA door to gain access to this skilled and experienced community of military personnel,” Harwood said.
The all-day showcase event provides a unique opportunity for the Fort Meade Alliance member companies to find skilled workers for vacant positions, while supporting the community and retaining the local workforce.
“We believe that by partnering with the Fort Meade Alliance, Tower has an inside track to great talented individuals,” said Rhonda Pierce-Brooks, Vice President/Director of Human Resources at Tower. “Attracting the best talent in the area to a great place to work is a win-win for everyone.”
For a complete list of participating companies, please visit the Career Transition Program on our website.