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What is SkillBridge?

Department of Defense SkillBridge is a program that offers skills training and internships to transitioning service members through an Authorized SkillBridge Organization. Authorized Skillbridge organizations are companies or nonprofits whose programs have been approved by the Department of Defense because they represent an opportunity for service members to gain skills that make them more employable on transition from the military. These opportunities take place during a service member's last 180 days of Service. During this time, the service member trains and learns from an industry partner while still receiving military compensation and benefits.

How can utilizing Skillbridge improve your business?

Each year, approximately 200,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces will transition out of the military. Through carefully crafted SkillBridge programs designed to meet their specific workforce needs, industry partners gain early access to these service members' experience, skills, and work ethic.

Because the U.S. Department of Defense pays the service member's salary and benefits while the service member participates in a SkillBridge program during their final 180 days of service, there is no cost for leveraging and upskilling this unique talent pool.

Creating and managing an approved Skillbridge program is a way for companies to expand their access to this highly sought-after talent pool by upskilling and preparing candidates before they become full-time hires.

How Partnerships Can Help

Workforce partnerships like HireSkills help clients navigate complex government programs, including Department of Defense's SkillBridge and Department of Labor apprenticeships, as well as other veteran and military spouse training and upskilling programs. There are currently over 1000 authorized Skillbridge programs competing for military talent, so it is important to have a competitive edge.

While invaluable for expanding access to military talent, these programs can be time-consuming to stand up and manage. Experienced partners help companies create a seamless pipeline with minimal burden on your team. These partnerships ensure that your SkillBridge program is authorized and that it maximizes the experience for your company and the servicemember, ensuring an optimized conversion-to-hire rate.

By upskilling and reskilling military, veterans, and civilians, businesses tap into existing expertise while providing these men and women with workplace-relevant knowledge and advanced skills.

SkillBridge Program FAQS

How upskilling your workforce benefits your organization?

Upskilling enables companies to expand access to valuable military talent while upskilling them with the specific traits necessary to best perform their job. This allows a company to gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the growing skills gap.

What does upskilling mean?

Crucial for technical skills, upskilling is an investment in furthering the skills and aptitude of the workforce to meet current and future needs. Upskilling is typically offered along a specific skill set and offers businesses the ability to stay competitive in rapidly evolving fields, such as Skilled Manufacturing, Semiconductor, Energy, and Logistics.
How do I become a SkillBridge provider?
To become an Authorized SkillBridge Organization, a business must:

  • Have a clearly defined job training and career development program designed to enhance opportunities for transitioning service members.
  • Commit to a 100% interview rate and a high probability of conversion to full-time employment for the servicemember on transition.
  • Have evidence that your industry is in demand and has opportunities for professional advancement beyond initial employment.
  • Commit to developing and supervising your Skillbridge participants throughout the program to ensure a high conversion rate.

If an organization can attest to these requirements, it must then complete a detailed proposal including proposed skills training, schedules and stakeholder engagement plan, and a preliminary questionnaire. On approval by the Department of Defense, the organization is then added to the Authorized Skillbridge Organizations list and can begin recruiting candidates to their program.

Bridging the Gap

Programs such as SkillBridge offer early access to talented men and women transitioning from the military. Once approved, organizations enjoy the ability to train an intern in the specific skills needed in their future role, while the service member is being paid by the military. These programs can be difficult to navigate, so it may be wise to consider a partner to guide you through the process. No matter how you approach upskilling, though, it is a wise investment that produces agile, productive team members.

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