Transitioning Service Members
Civilian SkillBridge Opportunities
From the official DoD SkillBridge website: "The DoD SkillBridge program is an opportunity for service members to gain valuable civilian work experience...during the last 180 days of service....For service members SkillBridge provides an invaluable chance to work and learn in civilian career areas...For industry partners SkillBridge is an opportunity to access and leverage the world’s most highly trained and motivated workforce..."
DoD SkillBridge is a revolutionary program with unmatched potential and there has been an explosive growth in workforce-driven programs since 2019.
Note: SkillBridge is a Department of Defense program. The Department of Defense and Service Departments do not endorse any company, sponsor, or their products or services.
We have helped numerous large & small employers establish SkillBridge programs and we are honored to be fully industry-supported by several SkillBridge thought-leaders. Through this employer collaboration, we know that employers have many questions beyond the DoD authorization process - examples include questions related to internal strategic alignment, HR compliance, internal resourcing, candidate sourcing, program facilitation, best practice sharing, training program delivery, onboarding, mentoring, etc.
All info contained here is solely industry-driven info sharing by those that have experience in various capacities navigating SkillBridge participation. 50strong is not funded by the DoD and does not represent the DoD SkillBridge office in any capacity.
The goals of 50strong are as follows:
To help employers build smart & efficient military talent pipelines that are aligned to workforce needs by leveraging DoD SkillBridge.
To help "normalize" DoD SkillBridge participation for Fortune 500 companies so that they become as commonplace as are university internships - but are understood and championed for all levels of military talent.
To enable small/mid-size companies to efficiently participate in DoD SkillBridge opportunities based on their resources & workforce needs.
To help facilitate knowledge sharing among the employer community as we believe that this industry understanding & transparency will help to open more SkillBridge opportunities for service members.
Outreach Support for SkillBridge Providers
Via 50strong SkillBridgeConnect, we offer no-cost inclusion of any SkillBridge opportunity at the city/state level with easy navigation for service members. We drive traffic to this page daily and include direct routing to your intake method of choice. Basically, we offer free outreach support to you.
Why do we do this? Because the most common question we hear from service members is "What are ALL the SkillBridge opportunities available in [city, state] across all programs?" Today, there is no easy way to answer that question.
This is offered as a complimentary service by 50strong in an effort to support easy service member navigation of open opportunities AND easy outreach for ANY DoD-authorized SkillBridge provider.
We ONLY have visibility to the roles that are shared with us.
We encourage SkillBridge providers to be as specific as possible as we do NOT want to waste your time or Service Members' time by directing them to generic talent pipelines
Do you run a DoD-authorized SkillBridge program?
We want to help support your outreach! Download this template, fill it out (one row per opportunity/city) and send to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Significant Industry Interest in SkillBridge
We've been tracking the number of new programs as listed on the DoD SkillBridge website and the interest from employers is dramatic.
Industry thought-leaders are critical to go-forward advancement of the program.
How Employers Can Participate in SkillBridge
There are two main ways for employers to participate, each requiring various resourcing. Each employer should evaluate their unique business situation to determine how best to navigate.
Any industry partner interested establishing a SkillBridge program should apply directly via the Industry Partners/Employers section of the official DoD SkillBridge website.
Insight from SkillBridge Thought-Leaders
We are honored to partner with industry thought-leaders that are working hard to share their experience and expertise in an effort to help other employers utilize the SkillBridge program.
Cushman & Wakefield's lead discussing impact of SkillBridge to veteran employment
Clario Appraisal Network sharing how SkillBridge is their first military outreach program as a small employer with unique industry certification & workforce needs
The SkillBridge leader at Lowe's discussing the importance of aligning SkillBridge with full-time opportunities
Dedicated Consulting Support
Need more dedicated support for establishing a program, advice on working with a 3rd party, etc? We work hard to provide as much transparent access to information as possible and we encourage all interested industry partners to take advantage of what is readily available on the DoD SkillBridge website and here.
Our team does do 1:1 consulting on an as-needed basis. We also partner with several trusted colleagues that also offer SkillBridge consulting services. Please feel free to reach out directly.
specializing in SkillBridge enablement, California HR Law Compliance, Veterans and military spouse engagement and retention, Veteran & military-related marketing & branding, SHRM and HRCI continuing education and recertification
specializing in SkillBridge enablement, training program establishment, national & local labor union collaboration, apprenticeships, public/private partnerships & community college collaboration
For those organizations that may not be ready or don't have the resources to establish their own SkillBridge program yet, we may be help by getting you started as a 50strong Intern employer host. Note: 50strong and DoD signed a Memorandum of Understanding for SkillBridge authorization in June 2020.
50strong is an authorized 3rd party SkillBridge provider; due to the hand-on approach that is needed, we can only open opportunities on a VERY limited basis at this time. However, we can refer you to one of our partner 3rd-party SkillBridge internship placement partners if our bandwidth can't accommodate your timing! Partner list coming soon!
50strong works with our employer partners collaboratively to identify SkillBridge-appropriate roles that provide high probability of long-term full-time employment opportunities post-military. The employer partner hosts the service member in an industry environment that ensures significant exposure to civilian employment work experience & learning opportunities. SkillBridge participants work ~37 hours/week in the employer’s environment and on timing that is mutually agreeable for the employer and the service member.
50strong’s goal is to support full-time employment opportunities post-military. Prior to opening any role with any host employer, 50strong works with our host employers on the following:
To determine if there is a resourced, full-time employment pathway for the SkillBridge opportunity
To guarantee that each SkillBridge candidate will have the opportunity to interview for the full-time opportunity prior to the end of the SkillBridge training as along as they meet all requirements
To ensure that each host employer can identify an internal mentor that can support their employment transition journey.
To ensure that each host employer is willing to champion and support the below career readiness training provided by 50strong during the SkillBridge window in the event that full-time employment at the host employer is not achieved.
In order to ensure each 50strong SkillBridge candidate is able to navigate their own civilian job search and to help drive toward full-time employment outcomes - either at the host employer or elsewhere if full-time employment at the host employer is not achieved - each 50strong SkillBridge intern is expected to participate in 50strong career readiness training, including:
90 minutes/week participation in 50strong EmployerConnect virtual training series, For participants, the approach will provide cross-industry civilian employment training & exposure and networking with a variety of military-ready employers that is applicable for any service member, military spouse or student veteran transitioning into civilian work to leverage and apply toward their post-military job search.
2 hours/month group networking with 50strong staff, 50strong industry mentors, and other 50strong interns.
1 hour/week individual networking with industry mentors - either via Veterati, direct referrals by 50strong or any other mentoring/networking event.
Note: All SkillBridge candidates are highly encouraged to pursue all learning & networking options during this SkillBridge participation.