By ASHLEY COKER
Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical will soon help veterans across the country access stable, high-paying jobs after leaving the military.
Hiller, a Middle Tennessee company, and U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Campbell, announced the national expansion of the Transition to Trades program last week.
Transition to Trades is an approved Career Skills Program (CSP) that allows service members with plans to exit the military to attend Total Tech trade school while still actively serving in the armed forces. Hiller bought Total Tech in 2012.
After finishing the training program, service members are guaranteed an employment interview at a Hiller branch location of their choosing.
Soldiers who choose to return to their hometowns are provided key industry contact information to aid in employment searches in those areas, as well.
Since Transition to Trades started in 2016, 156 soldiers have completed the program. Of those graduates,103 soldiers are now employed full-time in the industry, while 23 have re-enlisted or gone back to further their education.
Hiller CEO Jimmy Hiller said he is excited to welcome many of the program’s graduates into his own company.
“These guys know how to show up on time, how to wear a uniform properly and how to follow processes and procedures,” Hiller said. “They are the kind of employees we want to hire.”
Hiller said about 10 percent of his current employees come from military backgrounds, and he believes the number will only grow as Transition to Trades expands.
Transition to Trades has partnered with PRAXIS S-10 and PriceFixer.com to provide placement opportunities with more than 150 contractors across the United States.
“With new Army Permissive TDY (Temporary Duty) regulations, soldiers are now permitted to move between the states to attend CSP programs, like Transition to Trades,” a Hiller representative said. “To accommodate these additional soldiers, the program has plans to expand its trade school significantly over the next year. These changes will allow soldiers from across the United States to participate in the program and relocate to nearly any area of their choosing for full-time employment upon their graduation. ”
Hiller sees the program as a way to give back to people who have served their country and communities, as well as to eliminate some of their fears about reentering the civilian workforce.
“Before Transition to Trades, I just didn’t understand the fear these guys have about being able to provide for their families outside of the military,” Hiller said.
He hopes the program will alleviate some of that pressure.
Transition to Trades held its fourth graduation ceremony at Fort Campbell earlier this month.