AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Service members at Fort Gordon have a new opportunity thanks to a partnership between the military installation and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. After a year of planning, there is now an opportunity to take an Occupational Safety and Health training to help them secure a job during the transition from military to civilian life.
Garrison Commander, Colonel Jim Clifford, said, “It’s a great privilege and honor for me to be here today, to be part of this historic signing.” The collaboration gives men and women preparing to leave the military the option to take a career skills training. Transition Service Manager for Fort Gordon, Angela Gaston, said, “We are really wanting to keep a lot of this great talent that’s exiting the military right here in Augusta.”
Service members already have to take a Soldier for Life transition program before retiring, due to high unemployment rates in veterans. Gaston said the programs have led to Fort Gordon ranking sixth for lowest average of unemployment rate. Gaston said, "Our service members are getting out and not having to revert to unemployment conversation. They are actually able to obtain viable employment once they exit the military.” In addition to being able to find jobs, she said our service members here say if they get a good opportunity in the area, they would definitely stay.
Colonel Clifford said, “It’s important to us, it’s important to me, and most importantly, it’s important to our service members as they transition out of here.” The training does not guarantee a job, but opens up more opportunities. CEO and President of SRS, Stuart MacVean, said, “It’s a great opportunity for us to get people who really know what it means to be working in an organization serving the country.”
There are already 19 people signed up and waiting for the first program to start.
Saxton says Fort Gordon is looking to add three more career skills programs and build on community partnerships in the near future.