Soldiers transitioning from service need every skill to help them enter the "highly competitive" workforce of today, Fort Jackson officials said.

One way the post helps transitioning Soldiers capitalize" on training and other developmental programs is the Career Skills Program.

Veronica Fields-Cox, an Educational Services Officer with the Army Continuing Education System said CSP is a program that "provides employment skills training opportunities for Soldiers while on active duty to prepare them for the transition from military to civilian employment."

The training opportunities includes employment skills training, internships, job shadowing, apprenticeships and on-the job training.

"It is very important that Soldiers are adequately prepared for the civilian workforce," Fields-Cox said. "The CSP improves employment options upon separation from the military by providing training or education for job skills required to provide the ability to obtain employment or adapt to the changing demands of the civilian workplace.

"The CSP provides the transitioning Soldiers the opportunity to exceed in a rapidly changing workforce environment."

Current CSP opportunities are:
• Marco's Employment Skills Training Program -- The Marco's Pizza Franchising, LLC offers an eight week training program to become a general manager in the restaurant/hospitality industry. Graduates are offered jobs within the Marco Pizza organization. Spouses and Family members are eligible to participate at no cost. Training dates are open and continuous.

• Training Concept Information Technology Program -- An eight week training program at a school's location in Columbia to teach transitioning Soldiers about information technology. Graduates obtain certification in CompTIA A+ and potential employment with one of their associated partners. One class is offered per quarter. The next class is scheduled for April 25 to July 3. Training is free for eligible Soldiers only.

• Troops to Firefighter -- Troops to Firefighter organization sponsors training to become a certified firefighter. All training is conducted at the South Carolina Fire Academy. Qualified spouses and Family members are eligible to participate at no cost. The class dates for our first class is tentatively scheduled for March 12.

• 911 Emergency Dispatcher -- The Troops to Firefighter organization sponsors the 911 training/class at the Fort Jackson education center. Qualified spouses and Family members are eligible to participate at no cost. Training classes are scheduled upon acceptance of 15 eligible participants.

Chief Curtis Moffett, vice president of Troops to Firefighters said during 911 emergency dispatcher training held recently that being a part of the fire and emergency response service "is a well-kept secret and offers a lot of benefits."

Transitioning Soldiers who have completed at least 180 days of active duty service in the Army and expect to be discharged or released from active duty within 180 days are eligible for CSP. Qualifying spouses and Family members may participate if allowed and accepted by the training organization.

For more information about the CSP contact Veronica Fields-Cox at 751-7209, or via email at veronica.l.fields-cox.civ@mail.mil.