• November 22, 2014

Vocational training boosts employment opportunities for transitioning soldiers

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Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 4:30 am

Warrior Transition Brigade soldiers transitioning to the civilian workplace now have an additional skill set thanks to Gateway Skillpoint Alliance’s electrical apprentice training program.

To celebrate their achievements, the 11-member class was honored Dec. 12 during graduation ceremonies at Belton’s Goodwill Learning Center. The class of 11 included 10 of the brigade’s wounded and ill soldiers and an Army veteran.

Guest speaker for the event was the brigade’s Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Bailey who praised the students for their initiative in obtaining a marketable skill and for their professionalism.

“Your pride and professionalism that military service demands puts you one step ahead of your peers,” he said.

The five-week course prepared students to work as an electrical apprentice and covered electrical theory, code, circuitry, conduit bending, switches and raceways.

Spc. Raymond Crumrine, who plans on entering the electrical trade when he transitions out of the military, said his favorite part of the course was wiring.

“It was a very satisfying feeling when you flip a switch and that light comes on,” he said. “You know you did something right.”

He is thankful that he can take his newly acquired skills directly into the civilian workplace, Crumrine said.

Sgt. Jean Cox, who is married to an electrician, said the class provided her with a future.

“It’s great that (brigade) soldiers have these opportunities,” she said.

The worst part of the class was conduit bending, she said.

“It’s takes a lot of strength, but it was worth it because I have a new skill set,” Cox said.

One of the instructors for the class, Phillip Mishoe, praised the soldiers for their discipline and teamwork.

“They just get it done,” he said, adding that teaching a class of soldiers was very rewarding. “They pulled together as a team and made my job easier. I never had to get on top of them.”

In January, the alliance will offer a heating, ventilation, and air-condition class.

For more information about Gateway Skillpoint Alliance and its training programs, go to www.skillpointalliance.org.

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