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Supporting transitioning veterans through the SkillBridge program

The DOD SkillBridge program is an opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service. SkillBridge connects Service members with industry partners in real-world job experiences. IEC, Matai and Defender have embraced the SkillBridge program as win-win to access the top talent of our service men and women while providing them a tangible experience that helps them transition out of service and into the civilian workforce.

For Service members SkillBridge provides an invaluable chance to work and learn in civilian career areas. For industry partners SkillBridge is an opportunity to access and leverage the world’s most highly trained and motivated workforce at no cost. Service members participating in SkillBridge receive their military compensation and benefits, and industry partners provide the training and work experience.

SkillBridge is an excellent benefit for installation and Unit Commanders who have members about to be discharged from Active Duty. SkillBridge can help Service members bridge the gap between the end of service and the beginning of their civilian careers. Commanders can greatly ease this return to civilian life by supporting their reports’ interest in SkillBridge. When mission permits, Commanders who support SkillBridge participation are helping their personnel find a civilian career with a trusted employer - IEC, Matai, and Defender.

Most recently, we had the honor of having 3 service members for the 180 day program that exposed them to various trades of construction, transportation & logistics, inventory management and procurement. Aside from the exposure and learning opportunity, they did a great job of contributing to the business needs by applying their military work ethic and commitment to excellence. They return to Wheeler Army Airfield in Honolulu to finish out their last months of service before transitioning into Civilian life.

"We're beyond grateful for the SkillBridge program as way to support our transitioning Veterans and their families. It's a common-sense program that gives qualified companies an opportunity to see how valuable this talent pool is in a low-risk way. We encourage all of our business community to take a hard look at SkillBridge" - states Nick Lewman of Matai and Defender. "We have a long record of embracing our Veteran community to access talented individuals with congruent values to IEC. This program is another practical tool for helping us expand our commitment to our service members and their families." states Nilson (IEC President). "We were fortunate to learn about this program from a Veteran employee, Perry Morlando, who enjoyed a successful military career and seeks ways to support other transitioning veterans. We hope to share it with other companies as way to expand its use and benefit to our Veterans."

On behalf of all of us at IEC, Matai, and Defender - thank you to our SkillBridge servicemen for their time with us this summer. We wish you a safe and successful closeout to your time in Duty and thank you for service to our Country.

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