Central Texas community experts visited Fort Hood on Friday to get a taste of how soldiers train and to better understand how they can assist soldiers in finding work after they transition from the military.
Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, hosted community experts in education, industry and medicine on the installation to give them insight on how Fort Hood provides for soldiers and their families and to spotlight the skills soldiers have upon leaving the military.
The purpose of the event is to lay the framework for additional community partnerships that will benefit soldiers and communities in Texas.
Cynthia Hernandez, executive director of Belton Economic Development, said she got a better understanding and appreciation of the kind of training soldiers perform and learned ways as a community leader to better assist soldiers in finding employment after leaving the Army.
“In Belton, Temple and Killeen we have a number of jobs ranging from manufacturing, distribution, health care and various industry sectors that are looking for employees and looking for a talented workforce, and Fort Hood certainly has that to offer,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said she works closely with Texas Workforce Solutions and other industries in Central Texas to connect exiting Fort Hood soldiers to open positions at various companies in the region.
Temple’s Materials Transportation Company CEO Ken Alessi said they have approximately 150 employees, with about 20 percent of those being former military.
“We’re always looking for good people such as welders, assemblers and people that know electronics,” Alessi said.
Martha Tyroch, a representative for Texas District 24 Sen. Dawn Buckingham, said she was here because the senator was very interested in the well-being of the soldiers and veterans.
“The main thing is to make sure that the money that the soldiers need in the state is available,” Tyroch said. “It’s very important that all of our soldiers have the cutting edge of training — you never want to slight a soldier when they have to go to the battlefield.”
The community leaders in the education industry visited the installation education center and learned about the various transition programs while the medical experts visited with soldiers at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
The event concluded with all the community industry experts at the virtual training facilities that refine soldiers’ combat and medical skills.