Thanks to a new agreement between the state of Missouri and Fort Leonard Wood, service members participating in the Career Skills Program now have a vastly-expanded range of potential internship opportunities.

On Feb. 14, Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, signed a Memorandum of Agreement between the installation and the state, opening the state's Show-Me-Heroes Program network of employers to Career Skills Program participants.

The Show-Me-Heroes Program is a state program that connects veterans with potential employment in Missouri. Hundreds of employers participate, and now those employers will be automatically approved to provide career-training internships to Soldiers transitioning out of the Army.

"This is a great opportunity, because now instead of creating individual internship agreements, every company that is partnered with Show-Me-Heroes is partnered with Fort Leonard Wood," said Jeffery Isom, Career Skills Program installation administrator.

"We originally had to go out and do the vetting process and get an agreement with each individual company outside Fort Leonard Wood," he said.

Isom said there are potentially 200 companies within a 50-mile radius of the installation service members can intern with. Those participating in the program are able to do their internship while still on active duty and leave the service with career skills. This program is fostered under the Soldier For Life -- Transition Assistance Program and administered through the Truman Education Center.

According to Sherry Jenkins, Region 5 Career Skills Program coordinator, it provides numerous training opportunities, all at no cost to the Soldiers or the Army.

"Not only will this ease the transition of our service members into the civilian workforce, but will likely result in an increased number remaining in Missouri," Jenkins said.

On his Facebook page, Greitens said Missouri is committed to providing opportunities for service members.

"We're working with businesses and community leaders all over the state to help members of our military get placed in apprenticeships, so that when they come home, they can find great work," Greitens said.

"I'm proud that our state is committed to becoming the best in the country for veterans and jobs."

Jenkins said businesses interested in supporting the state's military community and sponsoring an intern can visit showmeheros.mo.gov to connect with the program.

The signing of the agreement was held in conjunction with Military Appreciation Day in Jefferson City, Missouri, hosted by the Missouri Military Preparedness Enhancement Commission.

The Career Skills Program is an option for service members who are within 180 days of completing their active-duty service obligation and is a four-month program.

For more information, contact Isom at 573.596.0131, ext. 60172. For information on the Show-Me-Heroes Program, visit showmeheroes.mo.gov.