Army Career Skills Program Fall Fest at Cole Park Commons

By Kayla CosbyOctober 31, 2023

Career Skills Program
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sergeant First Class Shaina Vargas and Spec. Imani Lands pose with their certificates after successfully completing the 12-week Ryder Pathway Home Diesel Technician Training Program. Vargas and Lands are the first two females from Fort Campbell to complete the Ryder Career Skills Program. They both have guaranteed jobs with Ryder; Lands will start in a matter of weeks and Vargas will start over the summer. CSPs allow Soldiers to learn skills to help them find work when the transition to civilian life and also help units because funds budgeted to the units for all their mission requirements do not have to be diverted to unemployment costs after Soldiers leave the Army when commanders let their Soldiers take part in CSPs or similar programs. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Career Skills Program
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Specialist Imani Lands uses a creeper to inspect underneath a new diesel truck while taking part in the Ryder Pathway Home Diesel Technician Training Program. Lands is one of the first two female Soldiers from Fort Campbell to complete the Ryder Career Skills Program. Ryder offers guaranteed jobs to those who complete the 12-week program. Lands will begin her new career in early April. (Photo Credit: Nondice Thurman) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Army Career Skills Program (CSP) is hosting a fall event at Cole Park Commons Community Activity Center, Nov. 1, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring over 70 CSPs, Skillbridge internships and resources. Aimed at assisting Soldiers in transitioning to civilian life, this event is a crucial step in helping them find their next career after leaving the Army.

CSP is a comprehensive initiative that equips Soldiers with valuable skills and resources to facilitate a successful transition to civilian life. The program offers pre-apprenticeships, internships, on-the-job training, and employment skills training.

CSP was established to allow transitioning service members the opportunity to learn new career skills and offers training opportunities for Soldiers, spouses, and veterans. Teresa English, Career Skills Program Regional Coordinator said Soldiers can “test-drive their next career while they still have the safety net of being an Active Duty Soldier in the Army with full pay and benefits,” ensuring a good fit before transitioning out of the Army.

“Despite uncertainties about my desired path, attending job fairs sparked my interest in various fields. Reflecting with my family on what truly mattered, I realized my passion for helping Soldiers and contributing to my community” said Sgt. 1st Class Renny Sotero, 5th Special Forces Group, who is participating in the Individual Internship program. When offered an internship opportunity aligned with my values and providing a positive work environment, I accepted. Now, working on post, I engage with Soldiers daily, assisting them in their transitions and sharing insights from my own journey.”

The program is open to any Soldier within the last 180 days of an anticipated honorable discharge. Retirees, those going through the med board, or Soldiers who reach their Expiration Term of Service can participate with command approval. There are also opportunities for spouses and veterans to participate in some Career Skills Program.

“The high-risk demographic comprises Soldiers aged 18 to 24, first term Soldiers, that do not have a degree or civilian work experience. They face higher risks of unemployment and homelessness,” said English.

These programs, including pre-apprenticeships, individual internships, and cohort programs, provide diverse training avenues, often free or low-cost for Soldiers. Soldiers participating in CSP have a higher chance of immediate employment post-Fort Campbell, with completion rates of at least 95% and an average of 93% receiving job offers.

The event will foster networking opportunities among Soldiers and representatives from various industries, creating connection opportunities that can be instrumental in their career journeys.

"I've proudly been a part of the Career Skills Program since its inception in January 2015. CSP is crucial because it directly impacts Soldiers' chances for success,” English said. “Whether a Pfc. or a Lt. Col., everyone faces challenges upon exiting the military. We break down barriers and assist in their transition to civilian life.”

“The wealth of opportunities, workshops, and connections I've encountered here has been eye-opening. This experience allows me to pass on valuable knowledge to others navigating their post-military paths,” Sotero said.

“This event aims to bring numerous resources under one roof, providing face-to-face interactions for Soldiers to explore opportunities, eliminating the need for online searches or emails. It's not only for transitioning Soldiers but also spouse and veteran friendly. The voluntary CSP program, unlike TAP, is commander-approved and significantly increases the chances of Soldiers leaving Fort Campbell with a new career," English said.

For more information on the Career Skills Program, contact: or 270-798-3195/4974.