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U.S. Army, GM and Raytheon help soldiers succeed in civilian life "Shifting Gears" program

‘Shifting Gears’ program trains veterans to become GM automotive technicians

At the July 29 Pentagon press conference: Lynn Dugle (left),  president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services; Steve Hill (center), GM vice president, U.S. Sales and Services and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg (right), Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel  kick off the Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program for transitioning Army veterans. Photo:  U.S. Army Lt. Col. Paul Prince

The U.S. Army, General Motors and Raytheon are helping to launch new careers for soldiers returning to civilian life.

The Shifting Gears: Automotive Technician Training Program, a multi-year partnership between the three organizations, will train eligible veterans to become service technicians at GM dealerships. The program, which will begin in August at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, consists of a 12-week, on-base technician training curriculum.

The idea is to connect returning soldiers with education and career opportunities outside of the military service, a longstanding commitment held by the three program sponsors. Shifting Gears will be part of the Army’s Soldier for Life support program, which helps veterans reintegrate into their communities after their service is complete.

Program graduates will receive career counseling, job-placement recommendations and employment assistance from Army Soldier for Life centers. They also will have access to employment opportunities through GM’s authorized dealer network.

“Soldiers transitioning to civilian life bring exceptional training, values and experience to American communities and their civilian workforce,” said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.  “Properly supporting our veterans requires a team approach from the Army, other government agencies and the local community.”

GM’s dealer network needs approximately 2,500 new technicians annually; qualified technicians are often in short supply. This initiative develops well-trained technicians who will help GM and local dealer communities, while also helping transitioning military personnel. In addition to Shifting Gears, GM provides eligible veterans free access to Web-based training through GM’s Service Technical College.

“Shifting Gears illustrates GM’s commitment to serving those who serve America,” said Steve Hill, GM vice president, U.S. Sales and Service. “GM has supported the U.S. military for 100 years. From providing purpose-built vehicles in conflict situations to today’s support for veterans and returning military personnel, we continue to be their strong allies.”

The training will be conducted by Raytheon Professional Services (RPS), which is one of the world’s largest training companies. RPS currently develops and delivers training solutions for GM technicians worldwide and was integral in establishing the GM Service Technical College, an in-house resource that provides comprehensive training to GM personnel.

“Young Army veterans face unemployment rates that are more than double the national average. Raytheon sees this partnership with GM and the Army as an opportunity to reduce those alarming statistics by helping position former service members for new opportunities,” said Lynn Dugle, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “We look forward to helping train veterans through the Shifting Gears program, and continuing the work we do with the Army, including our role in training almost every active service soldier.”

Published: 07/29/2014

Last Updated: 10/14/2015

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