Shifting Gears Program Launches Veterans into Successful Civilian Careers

 The Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program at Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas, has successfully trained 101 soldiers as GM-certified automotive technicians to prepare them for success in civilian life.

Developed through a multi-year partnership between Raytheon, the U.S. Army and General Motors (GM), Shifting Gears has graduated four classes of soldiers since it launched in the summer of 2014. A fifth class is scheduled to graduate at the end of October, bringing the total number of soldiers trained on the program to 117.

The 12-week Shifting Gears program consists of 480 hours of customized curricula, including classroom, online and hands-on technical training. Raytheon helped to establish the program as part of its longstanding commitment to support members of the military, veterans and their families.

"Shifting Gears is allowing me to leverage my existing skills from the U.S. Army to start and build the career I wanted in my civilian life," said Samuel Wren, GM Certified Service Technician at All American Chevrolet of Killeen. "This program gave me the skills and experience to hit the ground running as a service technician."

"Fort Hood’s partnership with General Motors and Raytheon to launch the Shifting Gears career skills program proved absolutely the right step for soldiers of the Great Place," said Col. Todd M. Fox, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hood commander. "Fort Hood soldiers are highly-technical, mechanically-inclined, self-disciplined and dedicated candidates for General Motors.  In fact, companies nationwide from all industries need look no further."

GM’s dealer network is hiring approximately 2,500 new technicians every year, demonstrating the high demand for qualified technicians.

"GM is committed to supporting our nation’s military and providing veterans with real career opportunities," said Mark Chockran, general manager at All American Chevrolet of Killeen. "We have three graduates at our dealership, and all have been impressive in terms of the knowledge and life skills they bring to the job. Their understanding of the technology and GM service systems puts them ahead of other candidates."

"Because Raytheon provides training services for almost every active duty U.S. Army soldier, offering this important program, which arms soldiers with the training and support they need to find meaningful careers once they leave the military, extends our mission," said Bob Williams, Raytheon Global Training Solutions vice president. "Shifting Gears is a strong expression of the productive partnership Raytheon enjoys with the U.S. Army and General Motors."

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