Military members and federal employees past, present and future are probably familiar with the company Booz Allen Hamilton. The global IT consulting firm has more than 27,000 employees and serves untold numbers of federal government contracts.
Now it’s reaching out to the Fayetteville, North Carolina, community by training service members in the latest information technology disciplines.
In a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Hiring Our Heroes” initiative, Booz Allen Hamilton has created the first-ever Military/Technology (Mil/Tech) Corporate Fellowship to service members in the Fayetteville area.
The idea is to “upskill” transitioning veterans to prepare for new careers in artificial intelligence, data analytics, data science software and cloud computing. Booz Allen Hamilton began its Mil/Tech Workforce Initiative in 2020 to help veterans transition into new “future focused” career fields.
For service members, the program not only offers the hands-on training in emerging computer technologies, it’s also part of the Department of Defense SkillBridge program. SkillBridge provides military benefits and pay for the last six months of an enlistment while the transitioning service member attends a partner training program for their new post-military career.
Jay Dodd is a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and a leader in the Fayetteville office. He spent the past 20 years at the firm. Before that, he was leading infantry as a colonel in the U.S. Army. He believes the program is one of the best opportunities to get into emerging tech careers.
“This allows us to help service members explore and create pathways into cyber, IT, artificial intelligence and future workforce technologies,” Dodd says. “Even if they don’t get on at Booz Allen, they will understand the cyber workforce perspective, where they want to go and how to get there.”
Besides Fayetteville, Booz Allen Hamilton participates in joint ventures with Hiring Our Heroes in Colorado Springs, Honolulu, San Antonio, San Diego, Tampa (Florida) and the Washington, D.C., area. Eligible veterans are limited by geographic proximity to Booz Allen Hamilton’s Fayetteville office, but this opportunity is open to Fort Bragg, Pope Field and even Camp Lejeune. This is the first time such a program is being offered in the North Carolina area.
Dodd says Booz Allen Hamilton started the Fayetteville program to capitalize on the military-connected talent pool that the region has to offer.
Booz Allen Hamilton’s 12-week fellowship program provides hands-on, in-person technical training on the real-world work being done from the company’s Fayetteville office. The separating veterans will join a staff of more than 400, half of which are former military members, spouses, Guard and Reserve members.
Hiring Our Heroes was started by the Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2011. It provided separating veterans with not only hands-on training in a potential new career, but also professional development in the civilian workforce. Hiring Our Heroes also offers opportunities for military spouses.
The Booz Allen Hamilton Mil/Tech fellowship in Fayetteville is not a job pipeline, as there is no job placement at the end of the program. What it does instead is allow for the newly -- trained fellow to meet people and integrate into the workflow of the office -- a kind of hands-on networking.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no possibility for getting on at Booz Allen Hamilton once the fellowship ends.
“If they like us and we like them and we think they’d be a good fit, there’s a definite possibility of joining the team,” Dodd says. “About 30% of Booz Allen’s overall workforce are military-affiliated. We recognize the skill and experience that veterans bring to the table.”
Those interested in applying for the Mil/Tech Fellowship can visit BoozAllen.com/MilTech.
-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.
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