Transitioning Service Members
The WorkEx Approach
How does it work?
The WorkEx program acts as the approving authority for a customized, individual internship and is an approved Career Skills (CSP)/DoD SkillBridge program based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State.
The WorkEx program allows eligible active duty transitioning service members and military spouses (as funding is available) to participate in a 4-12 week (up to 180 days with chain of command approval) hands-on work based learning opportunity with a host employer (local or remote) to bridge the gap in skills and experience needed to land a full-time career opportunity within the civilian workforce.
Service members must identify and obtain their own WorkEx internship opportunity and be able to complete the internship within their last 180 days of military service. Military Spouses are eligible to participate at any time while they are an active duty spouse. WorkEx facilitates the approval process of internships, which is a two-step process:
- WorkEx Navigator determines eligibility, vets the opportunity and business, and issues Letter of Acceptance (LOA).
- After receiving WorkEx LOA, approval authority rests with the first field grade commander authorized to impose non- judicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ in the Service member’s chain of command. Such commanders may approve or disapprove participation by a Service member based upon unit mission requirements. This 2nd step does not apply to military spouses.
It depends. Please inquire with the PacMtn WorkEx team at Hawk Career Center to determine the current status of availability.
The WorkEx program does not assign internships. Candidates are responsible for developing their own opportunity. The program has worked with many businesses on past internships, and many are willing to accept future interns, but this depends on open roles. Previous candidates were most successful when they reached out to companies directly about open roles and leveraged WorkEx as an opportunity to frontload training during their last 180 days of service. Internships may include roles such as: project management, human resources, mechanic, engineer, marketing, operations management, healthcare administration, IT, analyst, software engineering, pilot, public safety, emergency/risk management, and more.
No. Per military regulation, accepting outside sources of income through employment is generally considered a conflict of interest. During the duration of the internship, the sole source of income and benefits will be provided by the military, not the host employer. On the other hand, military spouses are paid through WorkEx program funding.
How can I learn more about the WorkEx program?
- Attend the mandatory CSP (Career Skills Program) briefing held every Monday at 12:00 noon at the Hawk Career Center.
- Complete the online orientation at the WorkEx website: www.workexmilitary.org
Once you have attended the CSP briefing, completed the WorkEx orientation, determined WorkEx eligibility, and are within 6-9 months (no later than 3 months) of your last day in service (ETS/MED Board/retirement date), please reach out to the WorkEx team via: www.workexmilitary.org with your targeted resume attached to request an intake appointment
Based on your time frame and eligibility, you should receive a response within 14 business working days of your intake appointment request. Responses to emails may be delayed or expedited outside of this timeframe depending on partnership status and opportunity, staff availability, ETS/Retirement date, MEB date, and WorkEx program eligibility.
Yes, a targeted resume is a CSP and WorkEx program requirement for all WorkEx participants. If you do not currently have a targeted resume and would like additional support in creating one, please register for a targeted resume class via https://jblmunlimited.com/ or virtually via https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrp1fnpwlGEA7Z2T-BhhCepTlAnBK_DLU to receive guidance and support as you create your targeted resume.
The WorkEx program provides service members and military spouses the ability to acquire employment skills, knowledge, and/or abilities to assist service members with job opportunities in the civilian sector. Eligible host employers must offer a high probability of post- service employment (minimum $15/hour, full-time, and non-commission based opportunities) with the provider or other employers in a field related to the opportunity. Participants are not entitled to a job at the conclusion of the WorkEx internship with that specific industry partner or employer simply by virtue of completing the internship, but are guaranteed, at minimum, an informational interview.
Attend a monthly VERG (Veteran Employee Resource Group) meeting to network with state agency recruiters. Information regarding next VERG meeting for service members seeking WA state employment/WorkEx internships can be found here: https://www.dva.wa.gov/about-wdva/washington-veterans-employee-resource-group-verg
Our team is located near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. Remote candidates must work diligently to develop their opportunity and complete the required documentation within the correct time frame (within the last 180 days of service.) If steps are not properly followed, the back and forth of email and phone communication can delay processing. For location outside of our region an O-6 is required to approve your Memo of Permission, rather than the O-5 that is required locally. We have partnered with HireMilitary to make referrals for service members interested in viewing opportunities with their employer partners across the United States, specifically with larger companies. There is no charge for service members, and you can create your profile today by clicking the link here: https://www.hiremilitary.us
The WorkEx team is an approving authority for customized, individual internships and not only processes the required documentation for the candidate, but vets the company and the internship opportunity. There are many steps and documents required in the process for both the candidate and the business to protect both entities. Our process is the fastest and most streamlined, seen as the best practice in military transition internships for small and medium sized organizations within the Pacific Northwest. You may choose to pursue an internship through the CSP/DoD SkillBridge office at your local base. There are other programs such as the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship, which is a cohort- based, national program and HireMilitary which focuses on nationwide internships with larger corporations.
Yes, it is possible. You will need to be cleared by your unit to travel and work in a foreign country. Also, you will be require to obtain a memorandum from your S2 (Intelligence Officer) stating “SM has been briefed on the risk potential in the country as well as working with a foreign business and there is no issue with the candidate participating.”
Depending on where your internship is located, you may need to assist in getting the documentation for the company filled out if there is a language barrier as all documentation is in English.