The Exchange has partnered with the Army Career Skills Program (CSP) to bring more Veterans to the Exchange team. The Exchange is now an approved employer with the CSP at Fort Hood, where a pilot partnership is in place.
CSP aims to assist service members in finding meaningful employment after they separate or retire by giving them a head start on job training in the civilian world while they’re still on active duty.
CSP has more than 15 approved employers at Fort Hood—now including the Exchange—that offer internships, apprenticeships or on-the-job training to service members planning to leave the military within 180 days. If service members successfully complete the program, they can be hired as regular employees.
With commander approval, CSP participants train with an approved employer while having the security of still being in the military and receiving their military pay.
“The transition from military to civilian life can be challenging,” said Col. Collin Fortier, the Exchange’s military community liaison who worked to get the Exchange designated as a CSP-approved employer. “The Army’s Career Skills Program enables service members to plan ahead and find a great landing spot like the Exchange.”
Master Sgt. Troy Tyson, who has served 39 years in the Army and Army Reserves, is the Exchange’s first CSP participant. As he prepares to retire in November, he has unique insight into his next step.
Tyson is the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Soldiers transition program at Fort Hood. Through CSP, Tyson is participating in the Exchange’s Veteran Retail Management Training (VRMT) program, which focuses on recruiting and retaining Veterans in retail management positions.
“The Exchange training is great,” said Tyson, who is in VRMT training at the Fort Hood Exchange. “It’s really geared toward the military.”
Tyson considered other CSP-approved companies for potential employment, but chose the Exchange because he wanted to stay connected to the military community.
“The Exchange is geared toward the family,” Tyson said. “It gives back to the community, gives back to the Soldier. That’s what drew me to it.”
Getting a ‘head start’
The Exchange is a CSP-approved employer at Fort Hood and is looking to expand to other Army installations.
Soldiers can learn more about CSP through Installation Management Command, which manages and executes the program.
The Exchange is also working toward becoming a CSP-approved employer for the Air Force. Airmen can contact their local base education office for information on CSP.
“The collaboration with CSP is an obvious fit for the Exchange because we actively seek out Veterans,” said Stephanie Burns, the HR Directorate’s vice president of talent. “We hope this will bring more qualified Veterans to the Exchange team while helping them get a head start on the transition to civilian life.”