Program Helps Service Members Transition Military Skills Into Employment

Dec 4, 2017

Before a service member transitions out of the military, the Department of Defense requires they complete a pre-separation counseling session. Fort Jackson's Solider For Life Transition Assistance program manager says its the beginning of 12-month period that prepares service members and their family for life outside the military.

"This is a collaborative effort for hiring our heroes," Andrews said. The employment workshop was led by several workforce professionals and covered a variety of topics including resume building; networking and interview tips. Its the eighth time Fort Jackson has hosted the event, Andrews said each year the event gets bigger and better. 

"The interests that the employers show is just phenomenal; and we just enjoy the fact that its not over the phone [or that its] its not a letter; its not email."

Digital tools are also integrated into the workshop curriculum, which allows volunteer career coaches to help service members develop an elevator pitch, participate in a mock interview, and create a more effective resume.

But time can also play a role in getting hired. According to several leading online job search websites, the average job-search process takes just over six weeks. An October 2015 article in Money says this 43-day period varies considerable by industry.

Fort Jackson's Army Volunteer Core Commander Marilynn Bailey said volunteering is a great way to fill that time.

Marilynn Bailey (Fort Jackson Army Volunteer Core Coordinator) and Michael Kouneski (Fort Jackson Command Career Counselor) during 2017 Hiring Our Heroes career fair.
Credit Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

"We highly encourage people who are waiting and looking for a job to come in and volunteer and hopefully gain some new skill sets."

Bailey said volunteering can be a great advantage to the job seeker. At the time of the job fair,  there were approximately 1200 volunteers active in organizations on post. But the program's reach extends deep into the surrounding communities.

"We work very well and have partnerships with the Columbia community as well," she added.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at Fort Jackson, call (803) 751-5444 or email marilynn.s.bailey.civ@mail.mil.

For more information about the Solider For Life Transition Assistance program, visit http://jackson.armylive.dodlive.mil/garrison/dhr/sfl/ or call 803-751-4109.