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Deere Program Bridges Military Skills With Civilian Jobs

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Kaleena Parker
John Deere
Claire Wilson, a lieutenant in the Navy found an internship through the Skillbridge program at a factory in Paton

John Deere Skillbridge program helps soldiers transition home

John Deere has joined forces with the U.S. Defense Department to offer members of the military internships during the last six months of their deployment.

Called Skillbridge, the initiative allows the soldiers to transition to a civilian job in a factory or at a dealership.

"We’ve got folks from Ottumwa, from Des Moines, Waterloo, you name it, who want to come back , who want to continue in a high tech field , so that’s why Skillbridge is a really nice fit. We have people saying I want to come home to Iowa,” explained Ching Gettman, one of the Skillbridge coordinators.

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Kaleena Parker
Army Cpl. Tyler Wood completed the Skillbridge internship and is now a mechanic at Flint Equipment Company in Georgia

Gettman said the program is for those who have 3 or 4 years’ of service all the way to 20 or 30 years. There are openings for mechanics, welders, electricians and other skilled positions.

“We also have folks who are not mechanics, that we have a training program for, Gettman said. “These would be maybe infantry guys, or military police who want to be a mechanic or have another career opportunity.” said Gettman.

She said more than 200 candidates have applied and 40 have already been placed.