JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Transitioning from a military career to civilian life can be a challenging and stressful occurrence – the Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) is here to help mitigate those concerns by providing Soldiers with the necessary tools to thrive on the outside.
“SFL-TAP and the Career Skills program offers Soldiers an insight into what to expect career-wise, while also helping them network and establish positive working relationships,” said Patricia Shepherd, SFL-TAP director. “The feedback from attendees is positive; they leave having a better understanding about the civilian lifestyle.”
The Career Skills program gives Soldiers the opportunity to learn vital career skills in targeted industries. Career Skills is centered on apprenticeships, on-the-job training, job shadowing, employment skills training, and internships while still on active-duty.
Soldiers can receive training in auto mechanics, welding, construction, trucking, pipefitting, and roofing. Other programs provide training in solar energy, information technology, electrical careers; they also introduce Soldiers to the medical industry, police training, and corporate business.
Joseph Lomman, an active-duty U.S. Army Specialist turned Alaska Air National Guardsmen, accredits his success post active-duty to the TAPS Career Skills program.
“If it weren’t for them [TAPS program personnel], I wouldn’t have been able to successfully transition from active-duty to the civilian side,” Lomman said. “They helped me create a resume, network, practice interviewing skills, and more.”
The Career Skills program that Lomman attended was the BMW Group Military Service Technician Education Program (MSTEP). The 16-week training provides hands-on training to individuals looking to service, repair and maintain more than five million BMW Group vehicles operating in the U.S.
The MSTEP program is paid for by the veterans gaining dealership, and is located at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.; in an effort to provide low cost training.
“The program [MSTEP] is beneficial for the employer and the employee; upon graduation, members have an almost guaranteed job, and employers obtain someone with auto mechanic experience and a basic knowledge of BMW operations,” said Andy Lloyd, BMW of Anchorage service manager. “Having Joseph as a part of the team is great; he exhibits a passion and dedication to the job. We’re happy to have him.”
The MSTEP program, and others like it, provide military personnel with job security, stable income, and an opportunity for career progression