By Kelby Wingert, Fort Hood Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood and Workforce Solutions of Central Texas officials signed a memorandum of understanding Sept. 28 on a new technical certification program for transitioning Soldiers.
The new program, which will launch in January 2018, is a result of “Operation Welcome Home” an initiative signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in April. The initiative provides grant funding to train transitioning service members staying in Texas for certifications through the Skills for Transition Grant.
Fort Hood’s Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program has worked with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas to establish an accelerated Clinical Medical Assistant certification program at Central Texas College for transitioning Army combat medics. The first certification program will begin in January. The MOU and partnerships with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas and CTC opens up the college’s entire course catalogue and more programs, which will begin in Summer 2018.
CTC’s regular CMA program takes approximately five months to complete and costs $2,495. The accelerated program offered through the SFL-TAP and Workforce Solutions is a comprehensive four-week, 8-hours-a-day schedule at no cost to the Soldier.
CMA certificate recipients are prescreened by employers and upon completion of the program will be hired within the Baylor Scott & White Hospital System in February or March 2018 and will have opportunities to further their medical education and careers through that employment.
According to Martin Traylor, SFL-TAP transition services manager, the combat medic military occupation specialty struggles the most with employment after separation from the Army because of the certifications needed to enter the civilian medical field and many former combat medics end up looking for employment in other industries.
“So this program is going to help ease that process and provide them with, in my personal opinion, tremendous opportunities to continue to utilize skills they’ve learned in the Army and capabilities they have that they didn’t know they had and be able to be an absolute benefit to not only the workforce but to the nation,” said retired Maj. Gen. Kendall Cox, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas chief operations officer.
Traylor added that the MOU and this new skills training program for transitioning Soldiers helps highlight the close partnership between Fort Hood, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas and area colleges.
“It’s unlike anywhere else in the military,” he said. “I’ve never seen a military community that supports the installation the way that the Central Texas people support Fort Hood. We couldn’t do what we do without the relationships.”
Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Hank Perry agreed.
“I think it’s a great partnership,” Perry said. “I think it’s a super opportunity to move this program forward and continue to support Soldiers and their Families as they transition off active duty.”