Military Skills to Industry Careers
The core participants at the meeting were representatives to the Joint Services Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification Council (JSAMTCC), a Department of Defense-FAA body on which Levanto has served since 2018. The council issues certificates of eligibility to military service members confirming attainment of necessary knowledge gained through training and experience to meet the requirements of 14 CFR § 65.77 (see Order 8900.1 Vol. 5. Ch. 5. Sec. 2 Para. 5-1134-B). As part of the current intense focus on workforce and career development, the JSAMTCC has become a venue for ARSA and others to explore new ways of streamlining military transitions and tapping into the broad range of skills held by uniformed personnel.
Over the course of the day, the group discussed credentialing programs, explored examples – like commercial drivers’ licenses – from other industries, planned updates to the military aviation curriculum structure and began the long process of overhauling FAA airman testing requirements for military personnel. Of immediate interest to industry was a DoD briefing on its 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,” the program’s website explains. “Separating Service members can be granted … permissive duty to focus solely on training full-time with approved industry partners … [who] offer real-world training and work experience in in-demand fields of work while having the opportunity to evaluate the service member’s suitability for the work.”
SkillBridge provides a mechanism for aviation employers to connect directly with service members, provide training and grow them into career positions for immediate placement upon their separation from service. There is cost sharing by the government, as the service member’s salary will initially be paid by their military unit, and applications can come from any specialty or job; since the interest of the applicant is the primary factor in program selection, repair stations and related employers can pull from technical skill sets beyond aviation.
As ARSA works to improve policy and provide resources (visit arsa.org/grant-program for updates on its efforts to fund new workforce training grants) related to aviation career development, the association encourages members to connect today to programs like SkillBridge that can provide access to military talent and professionalism.
To get started, visit: dodskillbridge.usalearning.gov.
For more information about military transition assistance efforts, contact Brett Levanto.