By Col. Robert J. Yost, director of the U.S. Army Transition Strategic Outreach OfficeMarch 28, 2013
MIAMI (March 19, 2013) -- The U.S. Army Transition Strategic Outreach Office is the primary conduit for employers to gain access to Soldiers who are making the transition from the Army to civilian life: the "Army Talent Pipeline." TSO helps employers "navigate" the Army's reintegration network by developing lasting relationships with industry leaders. TSO falls under The Adjutant General Directorate of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
The Commercial Driver's License (CDL) School, whose headquarters are in the Miami area, began working with the TSO team Feb. 26 in an effort to increase the awareness of their signature veterans hiring program, "Troops Into Transportation," whose website is http://www.troops2transport.com. TSO program director Col. Robert Yost collaborated directly with the CDL School's president and chief executive officer, Al Hanley III, and its vice president of business development, Alan Loveder.
The Army leveraged the TSO's ability to connect employers to Army Talent and the power of the TSO "Fusion Cell," a group of people who represent Army, veterans and educational organizations and programs. This synergy facilitated the Army's effort to further shape and develop CDL's mission of hiring outstanding transitioning Soldiers who are seeking jobs requiring a commercial driver license.
Fusion Cell participants include Army commands and directorates, military- and veteran-centric programs, and numerous federal, civic, state and educational organizations. Weekly Fusion Cell meetings are crucial for collective efforts to connect employers to transitioning Soldiers. Attendees share valuable information including current initiatives and "the way ahead." TSO also uses this opportunity to obtain and disseminate -- via the Army Career and Alumni Program, Facebook and the worldwide network of ACAP Counseling Centers -- any new hiring opportunities, posted job announcements and advisories of upcoming engagements.
The CDL School, via the TSO Fusion Cell, was able to immediately benefit from job-fair coordination with the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, or IMCOM; job-flier distribution to ACAP Centers; and additional networking and benchmarking opportunities.
The CDL School works with nine national trucking companies to guarantee jobs for veterans who successfully complete their 26-day training course. In addition, associated training costs can be paid by the GI Bill. While 162 Soldiers were offered positions and completed the program in 2012, the company contacted the TSO Office to specifically find new and innovative ways to significantly increase that number so TSO tapped into its Fusion Cell as well as other corporations within TSO's support network.
Miami Heat gets word of CDL helping Soldiers; on-court recognition follows
The Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers faced off in a National Basketball Association game March 8 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. They had learned that one of their fellow South Florida neighbors, CDL (based in Coral Gables), was working directly with the Army to help transitioning Soldiers. Prior to the singing of the national anthem, six Soldiers -- all recently hired under the "Troops Into Transportation" Program -- stood proudly at center court to receive well-deserved applause and recognition. They were honored for their service to the nation, and CDL was commended for its outstanding support of Soldiers seeking civilian employment. The pre-game ceremony aired live on ESPN.
"The Heat organization did a great job of honoring our Soldiers and making them feel welcome at the game. Our family and company are pleased to serve veterans in this way -- having an outing like this is the right thing to do," Hanley said. "Our family is celebrating our 50th year of providing this training; my grandfathers, father and cousins -- all veterans and servicemembers -- are part of this program's great tradition."
Loveder outlined how CDL and "Troops Into Transportation" normally takes all of their new, post-military students throughout the Miami area to help reduce their stress.
"South Florida has a lot to offer, and we want them to experience those things," he said. "Let's face it: They have just finished up a military career, they dive right into a new training program to gain their CDL Class A license, and suddenly they're right onto a new job. They need a break to have some fun and relax while they are learning!"
CDL takes veterans to see the Miami Heat, the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Marlins and even trips to the Everglades just to unwind and enjoy the ecosystem.
The on-court NBA ceremony was just the beginning, Loveder said, expressing hope for further on-field recognition ceremonies with the support of the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
For additional information on the U.S. Army Transition Strategic Outreach Office, visit https://www.hrc.army.mil/ArmyTalentPipeline.