Verna Bellamy, transition services specialist, Transition Assistance Program, reviews information with Sgt. 1st Class Peter Reed, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 244th Quartermaster Battalion.
Verna Bellamy, transition services specialist, Transition Assistance Program, reviews information with Sgt. 1st Class Peter Reed, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 244th Quartermaster Battalion. (Photo Credit: Terrance Bell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. – Those separating from military service in the coming months might be interested in knowing they can sign up for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math instructor training, allowing them to gain classroom experience while attaining certifications in graphic design and computer programming.

Verna Bellamy, a transition services specialist for the Installation Transition Assistance Program, said the STEM instructor training has garnered a lot of attention.

“We have service members really interested in this because it allows them to give back to the community,” she noted. “This is a great opportunity for those who want to teach in K-12 schools.”

SW Design, a Department of Defense SkillBridge program partner, is facilitating the career-launching opportunity. It is an organization tapped to bolster STEM education by helping to train and hire transitioning military members to teach at locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Michigan.

Military members (there also is an option for spouses) interested in STEM instructor training must submit an application by July 5 for the Aug. 30 program and by Oct. 4 for the Nov. 15 program.

Applicants must be on active duty, within 180 days of separation and able to pass a background check. Those accepted to the program will participate in a STEM-focused curriculum Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Internship hours are from 3-6 p.m.

For further details about STEM instructor training, visit www.thecareerleaders.co/dodskillbridge.

SkillBridge offers many other training and certification pathways for transitioning military members. It complements the Army Career Skills Program and equivalents for the Navy, Air Force and Marines, according to Bellamy.

The Army CSP and SkillBridge are optional programs requiring commander’s approval. Bellamy said administrative leave is granted to military members pursuing such opportunities as apprenticeships, internships, on-the-job training, job-shadowing and employment skills training during transition periods, which is generally six months prior to the last day of service.

“We currently have 216 approved programs under the CSP,” said Bellamy who then noted there are more than 300 such programs under SkillBridge.

Program pathways are located throughout the country and include career fields such as commercial trucking, cybersecurity, and office and administrative support. Bellamy said it is a means to smoothly enter into civilian employment.

“This provides military members the opportunity to either walk into a civilian job once they transition out or help them earn a certification to gain employment,” she added.

Military members participating in the Army CSP or equivalent are not paid by the companies in which they are enrolled since they are still on active duty.

For more information about any of the opportunities mentioned in this article, call the Transition Assistance Program at 804-734-4055 or 734-6612 or visit home.army.mil/imcom/index.php/customers/career-skills-program.