Military-to-civilian skills credentialing pilot underway

After completing an analysis of industry and employment trends, the Defense Department has embarked on a pilot program to help service members obtain civilian professional credentials.
Frank C. DiGiovanni, the department’s director of training readiness and strategy, said five occupational areas were selected for the pilot program: aircraft mechanic, automotive mechanic, health care, supply and logistics and truck driver. A total of 17 military specialties are covered under these five areas, which align with Department of Labor’s standard occupational classifications. To select the occupations, DiGiovanni  said the department looked at the private sector for areas where there would be average or better growth coinciding with high numbers of projected job openings. “What we’ve asked the services to do … is to look at those five areas, look at their specific military occupational codes, marry them up and get some people into the pilot program,” he said. The program began in October and as it progresses, officials will examine whether existing military training is sufficient to qualify service members for civilian credentials. Where the current training is found to be insufficient, DiGiovanni added, the department will determine if the program can be adjusted or if training from external sources is necessary. Training is just part of career development, however. “Some of these licenses and credentials require a certain level of experience to qualify,” he said. So, the program will eventually assess service members at various stages in their military careers. Military officials will also assess the program’s success from the perspective of the three key participant groups. “The first is the individual,” he said. “Did they feel they got what they needed to go out and compete?”