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Corporate Fellowship Program

Program offers summer training

Northwest Guardian

Published: 01:12PM May 4th, 2017
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“Don’t discount or disqualify yourself — come learn about the program and the companies involved.”

Capt. Robert White

Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Infantry Division Artillery

For transitioning service members looking for a way to move smoothly into the civilian workforce, Hiring Our Heroes’ Corporate Fellowship Program aims to give the networking opportunities and employable skills job seekers want.

For the past three years, Camo2Commerce and Hiring Our Heroes has worked with several local corporate businesses to create a program that has placed more than 1,000 transitioning service members into jobs.

One recent success story is Capt. Robert White, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Infantry Division Artillery, who graduated from the program this year and plans to transition out of the Army this summer after 20 years of service.

“This program is one of a kind,” White said. “It provides you with networking and lets you look behind the curtain of a company without being an employee. You get to solve real-life problems and learn about different companies in the Seattle/Tacoma area.”

White lives in DuPont and is originally from Virginia. He plans to move to Austin, Texas, after he transitions out of the military. He will work for the nonprofit Vetted Foundation, an organization aimed at helping service members enter the civilian workforce.

White credits the Corporate Fellowship Program with giving him confidence and relationships that will help him succeed in the Vetted Foundation. He also plans to accept an internship offered with the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce this summer.

White said it’s important that service members getting ready to transition consider signing up for the Corporate Fellowship Program.

“Don’t discount or disqualify yourself — come learn about the program and the companies involved,” he said. “ You don’t have to go work at a big company like Amazon. There are a lot of smaller companies in the area that have a lot to offer and may be looking for someone like you.”

The program is open to active-duty service members transitioning out of the military within six months of the start of the program, as well as military spouses of active-duty service members. The next training begins Wednesday and runs through July 28.

Rob Comer, lead national trainer and program manager with Hiring our Heroes’ Corporate Fellowship Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said the program is aimed at helping military leaders and spouses build their resumes with civilian networking and work experience.

“One of the most effective ways to assist in meeting these goals is through a fellowship in an actual business,” Comer said.

The program is in its seventh cohort, three each year, and has maintained more than 90 percent client job placement rate, with annual salaries in the high $70,000 range, he said.

Comer previously worked with Camo2Commerce and helped develop the current fellowship program, which now is part of the national Hiring our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

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