Are you a military member within 180 days of discharge and looking for employment once you get out? The DoD SkillBridge program may be for you.
What is the SkillBridge Program?
The DoD SkillBridge program connects military members who are separating with civilian businesses and companies which have available training or internship opportunities that offer a high probability of employment. When you are enrolled in the program you work as an intern or trainee for a civilian company, gaining work experience, yet you still are in the military and receive military pay and benefits. There is usually little or no cost to you for participating in the program.
Participation in the program is considered official duty, service members are authorized to participate in the program during normal working days and hours.
What Kind of Job Opportunities are Available Through the SkillBridge Program?
A number of companies and training providers have already set up or are setting up SkillBridge training programs. Companies already participating include companies such as General Motors, Georgia Power and Microsoft, as well as a variety of labor unions and other groups.
The program is particularly popular with high-demand industry sectors, where employment opportunities are growing. For instance, the SkillBridge program (Solar Ready Vets) trains service members for jobs in the solar industry, one of the fastest growing technical trades, and more than 750 servicemembers have participated in the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry’s Veterans in Piping (VIP) training program for welding and pipefitting skills. The United Association provides all training and placement resources without any costs to the government or the service members. Almost all of the participants have received job offers.
Companies with training opportunities are vetted by the DoD and can be found on the SkillBridge web portal. Service members can set up a profile on the SkillBridge website to receive email or Twitter direct message notifications when a training opportunity matches their profile.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for the SkillBridge Program?
The SkillBridge framework is based on two driving principles:
- The military will allow eligible members to participate in industry training instead of performing military duties during the closing months of their careers; and,
- Industry training providers will offer training at little or no cost to eligible members on or near the installations where they are stationed for the closing months of their military careers.
The general eligibility requirements for SkillBridge are:
- The service member must have completed at least 180 continuous days on active duty in the armed forces and is expected to be discharged or released from active duty within 180 days of starting training.
- The training must offer the service member a high probability of employment.
- The training must be provided to the service member at little or no cost.
- The training must be authorized by the chain of command.
- The training may be terminated based on mission requirements.
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