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    Fort Knox, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College partner to help troops land employment opportunities following military service



    Story by G. Anthonie Riis 

    Fort Knox

    Fort Knox Garrison Commander Col. Patrick Kaune and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College President Dr. Juston Pate signed a first-of-its-kind Soldier-to-civilian transition initiative that allows eligible service members to serve temporary duty at Fort Knox to participate in the new Advanced Manufacturing Army Career Skills Program at the college.

    In statements before the signing ceremony held at the ECTC campus July 23, Pate said the agreement was good for service members and the community.

    “We’re extremely proud to serve our veterans who have meant so much to our country. And as they transition out of military service, [they] will mean so much to our communities and our workforce,” Pate said. “In some small way, we want to be a conduit in transitioning them into a different, and hopefully, an even better life.”

    The program allows service members to use the last six months of their military career to train in some form of advanced manufacturing in civilian industry.

    A news release from the college reported that this program trains service members three areas: computer aided drafting and design, electrical technology and engineering, and electronics technology. Pate added that specific certifications earned in these areas would be in industrial maintenance, advanced manufacturing, robotics automation, engineering, electronics, electricity, computer assisted design, machine tooling technology, computerized manufacturing and machining.

    Pate said the program was designed to meet business demand.

    “The true beauty is this is what employers are looking for,” said Pate. “The power of this program is not just for the individual, but it is also for our workforce and about what our companies here need.”

    Fort Knox Career Skills Program Installation Administrator Harriet Taylor said the partnership could pipeline transitioning service members into those high-demand civilian positions after only a few months of class work and on-the-job training.

    “This program is available to transitioning service members who are transitioning out of the military regardless of where they’re stationed or their military branch,” said Taylor. “[The program] is not only for those who retire or [whose term of service expires], but also for those needing to medically discharge from the military or those being chaptered [with eventual honorable discharge,].”

    Pate said a partnership between Fort Knox and the community might fill a niche market here that has, in the past, been outsourced to other logistically challenging locations. He estimated that former military members would fill the ranks of that workforce.

    “Think about it. We’re 45 minutes from Louisville and an hour and 15 minutes from Lexington, [but] we have a wealth of phenomenal companies right here within 20 minutes of Elizabethtown. To be in this region and in the field of advance manufacturing that will be highly attractive,” Pate said. “Soldiers who are thinking about their next step, and who are considering anything in the manufacturing field - they can’t do much better.

    “If they’re looking across America, this is a great place to be.”

    Kaune said the program could help ease the transition to civilian life.

    “Integrating into the civilian lifestyle can be a challenge, but Soldiers have a wide range of talents that can be as effective outside of the military as they were inside,” Kaune said. “This is an exciting opportunity for Soldiers to sharpen their skillset and to also earn industry-recognized certifications for in-demand careers.”

    Kaune added this partnership is one more way to keep a promise to the warfighter.

    “When a person joins the Army, we vow to take care of him or her – not just over the span of their career – but for life,” Kaune said. “This Army Career Skills Program provides another avenue for us as a nation and as the Army to make good on that promise.

    “It is something we hope all Soldiers in transition will seriously consider.”



    Date Taken: 07.23.2019
    Date Posted: 07.25.2019 10:31
    Story ID: 332876
    Location: FORT KNOX, KY, US 

    Web Views: 46
    Downloads: 0