FORT HOOD, Texas – Fort Hood transition assistance and Workforce Solutions of Central Texas officials will sign a memorandum of understanding on a new technical certification program for transitioning Soldiers at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 28 at the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas office in Killeen, Texas.

The signing of this MOU represents a rapid expansion of Fort Hood’s Career Skills Program operations around the state. This umbrella MOU opens up on-duty, Career Skills Program opportunities to every in-demand certification approved within local college course catalogs such as clinical medical assistant or CMA.

The current Army Career Skills Program allows Fort Hood’s Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program to work with commanders and industry allowing on-duty Soldiers to become certified in their chosen field within the last 180-days of the Soldier’s active-duty service. The certification training is full-time during which the Army continues to pay the Soldiers salary and fringe benefits. The end-result is full-time employment within various technical career opportunities throughout Texas.

The new program was the result of an April launch of “Operation Welcome Home” signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The governor wanted to better assist transitioning service members who wanted to live and work in Texas. A central component of OWH is the Skills for Transition Grant, which is administered through the Texas Workforce Commission. This grant authorizes tuition, up to $2,000, paid directly to Texas colleges to train transitioning service members staying in Texas for certifications listed on the State’s “in-demand” list. At Fort Hood, the grant is administered by the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas in Killeen.

Fort Hood SFL-TAP officials tested the concept recently with the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Police Department’s selection of a Soldier-Candidate to attend the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Police Academy. The course is taught at Central Texas College in Killeen and was paid for by Workforce Solutions, via the Skills for Transition Grant.

Since the concept proved successful, Fort Hood and Workforce Solutions plan to expand the concept with an official kick-off of the Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) Certification at Central Texas College in January 2018. CMA certificate recipients are prescreened by employers, and can anticipate hiring within the Baylor Scott & White, Seaton or MetroPlex Hospital Systems in February/March 2018. Full implementation across the college’s course catalog will follow in Spring 2018, with a multitude of certifications offered to Soldiers, and tied to specific industry employer-partners.

Fort Hood SFL-TAP officials report that 52 percent of the 10,000+ annual separating Soldiers declare their intent to remain here in Texas upon their separation from the Army. Within that 52 percent, 32 percent say they are definitely staying in Texas and the remaining 20 percent say they will stay if they can find meaningful employment.

Media who wish to cover this event should register here. On Sept. 28, media should arrive at Workforce Solutions of Central Texas office at 300 Cheyenne Road, Killeen, at 8:45 a.m. for pre-event interviews with the Fort Hood and Workforce Solutions officials. The MOU signing will be at 9:30 a.m.