Many Army veterans know a thing or to about maintaining vehicles. And if they can keep a tank running smoothly, fixing a car should be a piece of cake, right?
That’s what General Motors and Raytheon think, which is why the two companies are teaming up with the U.S. Army to offer veterans jobs in car dealerships. According to David Shepardson of The Detroit News, GM has more car lots than any other auto maker in the U.S. — 4,300 of them, to be exact — and the company estimates it’ll need 2,500 technicians to staff them in the coming years. And with the Army planning to reduce its size from 574,000 to 450,000, there will be thousands of veterans looking for good jobs.
So kicking off this month at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, is the 12-week-long Shifting Gears: Automotive Technician Training Program. In order for Army members to obtain the skills needed to gain a civilian job before they’re discharged, the Raytheon-developed program is held on the base. GM pays for the training and connect graduates from it to jobs in their dealerships across the country.
Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, says, “Young Army veterans face unemployment rates that are more than double the national average. Raytheon sees this partnership with GM and the Army as an opportunity to reduce those alarming statistics by helping position former service members for new opportunities.”
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, deputy chief of staff for personnel, said at the Pentagon event, “Soldiers transitioning to civilian life bring exceptional training, values and experience to American communities and their civilian workforce. Properly supporting our veterans requires a team approach from the Army, other government agencies and the local community.”
Along with GM and Raytheon, more and more companies, including Tesla and Microsoft, are stepping up to help veterans transition into civilian jobs. Here’s to hoping that this assistance continue to trend.