What's next after active duty service? Discover Project Next S.T.E.P.

Decades of leadership and team experience, integrity and excellence on the job are just a few of the reasons employers choose from the pool of candidates transitioning from active duty service to the civilian workforce each year.

And that talent pool is getting even better.

The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore has partnered with Booz Allen Hamilton, Cisco, the Safeway Foundation and other generous sponsors, to develop and expand career-education programs designed to prepare transitioning service members for in-demand civilian certification tests.

“It’s [an opportunity] that’s helped not just myself, but many other veterans, their families and their spouses as well,” said Jim Grannis, an IT Infrastructure Design Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton.

While exploring his career options during his transition from the military to the civilian workforce, Grannis enrolled in Project Next S.T.E.P., where he met a fellow veteran working for global consulting company, Booz Allen Hamilton.

Making that connection led Grannis to apply and soon begin work at the internationally-recognized firm.

“One of the great things about the whole transition is that the team in Project Next S.T.E.P. was there to support me the entire way,” Grannis said.

One year since its initial launch, Project Next S.T.E.P. has enrolled 130 active duty service members and military spouses into its certification programs, according to Program Specialist Maura Gondek.

“The program is entirely set up for active duty and spouses with occupations to take advantage of because of the hours of the courses,” Grannis said. “They’re either on the weekends or after work hours.”

USO-Metro’s Project Next S.T.E.P., or Service Member Transition Education Program, is held near the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir.

Course certifications include:

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is designed for entry-level network engineers. CCNA teaches skills such as installing, configuring, operating and trouble-shooting routed and switched networks. Instruction for this program is provided by Veterans Institute of Training and Technology, Inc.

Project Management Professional (PMP) is designed for those with prior management experience. This will prepare attendees for the PMP certification exam; validating competence in the ability to lead and manage projects and teams. Instruction for this program is also provided by Veterans Institute of Training and Technology.

Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) is designed for those interested in a career in cyber security. CISSP is a comprehensive course teaching information systems security.

Learn more about enrolling in one of the certification courses.

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