Meet Robert Smith
El Segundo Resident, Robert S. Smith visited South Bay Business and Career Centers- Inglewood in April 2017 only a few weeks after receiving his separation orders from the United States Army. Retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel after 31 years of service and despite his extensive military career and leadership capabilities, he was unaware of the various resources available to him during his transition into the civilian workforce. Understanding his military rank was a major component of developing the most effective career pathway strategies for him. A Lieutenant Colonel generally serves as a Battalion Commander of a battalion consisting of 300 to 1,000 soldiers or serves as an Executive Officer or Staff Officer in a variety of high-level units or command posts. Because of the tremendous amount of responsibility attached to this rank, candidates receive promotions to these positions based on their level of experience and the leadership qualities they've displayed during their careers.
Considering his imminent separation from the Army in the upcoming months, the immediate goal was to establish the most effective way to match his military skills, education, and experience to meanigful
civilian occupations. Upon his enrollment into the Dislocated Worker Program under the 25% Special Assistance grant he began working with his case manager through a comprehensive assessment of education, skills, military experience and abilities that would lead to successfully developing an individual employment plan. Mr. Smith decided to pursue a Project Management Professional Certification at Career Development Solutions in May 2017. This advanced, project oriented program includes a Project Management Profession PMI approved course along with training for a Six Sigma Lean Black Belt designed for professionals with five or more years of experience as a project manager. Mr. Smith’s respected military career and leadership capabilities made him an ideal candidate for this WIOA funded Occupational Skills Certificate. He successfully completed his certification in June 2017 prior to his retirement from the Army in August 2017.
Outcome and Benefits:
Providing appropriate career services to Mr. Smith prior to his separation created an important segue for his subsequent transition into to civilian labor force. Since his separation from the Army, he is now gainfully employed as program analyst for El Segundo based SAIC. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is a premier technology integrator in the technical, engineering, intelligence, and enterprise information technology markets with approximately 15,000 employees worldwide. He expresses his gratitude for the services received and shares some of the challenges he faced during his transition from the military and offers words of advice for those in transition.
“The best advice for transitioning personnel is networking, networking, networking for unfortunately I didn’t have that luxury and it affected me greatly, but I will state that you guys put your best foot forward and kept me informed of all available opportunities.”