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Peterson AFB Education Center offers new career program

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The Education Center is located adjacent next to the base library on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Feb. 8, 2018. The center provides education and training to Airmen, civilians and Department of Defense military dependents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cameron Hunt)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The 21st Force Support Squadron Education Center on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Feb. 8, 2018. The center provides educational assistance to Airmen, civilian and Department of Defense dependents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cameron Hunt)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE Colo. -- In balancing a military, civilian and family life, sometimes it can be hard to find time to work on educational goals. At Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, the Education Center offers multiple programs to help Airmen achieve their ends.

The Education Center consists of six civilian personnel who serve Airmen, military transitioning to civilian life, spouses and Department of Defense contractors with classes offered by local colleges. Personnel at Schriever Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station and Thule Air Base can also use the services at Peterson AFB Education Center.

Along with a wide variety of educational courses, the Career Skills Program offers four different tracks that fall under one program.

“The CSP came on board because the DoD said they have to reduce the cost of unemployment compensation that they’re currently spending on,” said Sheri Buono, 21st Force Support Squadron education specialist. “This was an initiative to provide some of those skills folks may be lacking while transitioning out in order to bolster their résumé. The program ranges from vocational skills (for example, you can get your Commercial Driver’s License and drive big trucks), to more management internship opportunities.”

The CSP program includes:
 Apprenticeships: A combination of on-the-job training and personal one-on-one instruction.
 Internships: These can be completed in federal, state, local government or in the private sector, which may be based upon OJT and work experience.
 OJT: Job skills and proficiencies learned at the workplace while performing the actual job.
 Job Shadowing: Hands-on training to learn about a job through observation and performing the task under instruction.

The CSP equips personnel with proficiencies from vocational careers to advanced cyber security expertise. The program is tailored to the member’s specific career interests. A job description that isn’t initially listed under CSP can be vetted by a specialist to determine if that career field can be included in the program. For additional information, Airmen can visit their AF Virtual Education Center at https://afvec.langley.af.mil or schedule an appointment with the Transition Goals Planning Success guidance counselor.

In addition to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Tuition Assistance Briefings, Community College of the Air Force counseling and Veterans Administration briefings, there is a two-day mini Transition Assistance Program class for military members transitioning to civilian careers. This is for Airmen who want to go to school first rather than jump into employment initially.

Another transition program offered is the Onward to Opportunity program. This program uses personalized hands-on and online courses with opportunities to earn certifications in three specific career paths, referred to as Training Tracks. These tracks are in business management, customer service excellence and information technology.

Throughout the coursework and after completion of any of these tracks, students will be connected to the National Employer Partners through Hire Heroes USA, the Network helps students enhance their résumé and interview skills. This program is open to active duty members within six months of leaving service, reserve or guard with 180 days in service, post-9/11 veteran retired or separated with an honorable discharge. Military spouses and post-9/11 members of the National Guard or reserve are also welcome under this program.

For information, certifications, mentoring programs and college degrees, the Education Center can help bring your education goals to fruition. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. For more information call 719-556-4996 or email 21fss.fsde@us.af.mil.
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