Army launches pilot to get civilian certifications for its engineers
Published: July 12, 2012
WASHINGTON – This week Congress approved new legislation designed to help veterans use their military skills and experience to obtain federal licenses for needed for many civilian jobs. But Army engineers started similar work a week earlier, launching a pilot project with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers to establish guidelines for certifying troops already performing military work that translates easily into the civilian sector.
The effort, which stems from recommendations from the Department of Defense’s Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, would give Certified Manufacturing Technologist and Lean Bronze Certification credentials to active-duty troops who meet industry qualification standards. The first class of soldiers began a six-week training and evaluation course at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri last week.
Pam Hurt, industry manager for SME’s workforce development, said the course will allow military and industry officials to see what gaps exist between military and civilian practices, and train servicemembers on industry standards.
But it also will give military engineers an easier path to civilian jobs once they leave the service. A civilian employer “might not know what an engineer who worked on a nuclear sub does,” she said. “But they do know what the Lean Bronze Certification means.”
The Army’s engineer school is running the classes as part of a one-year pilot program, and will evaluate the potential for expansion after that. The first class of soldiers are expected to receive their certifications in late summer, if they qualify.