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GM joins in new Shifting Gears program at Fort Hood: soldiers to be GM techs

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Shifting Gears is a newly created Automotive Technician Training program. The announcement was made at the Pentagon on Tuesday afternoon, July 29, 2014. It was a co-announcement by the United States Army, General Motors, and Raytheon, a prime military sub-contractor.

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Shifting Gears is a unique training opportunity for transitioning soldiers that are leaving their active duty phase of military service. It will begin at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas sometime in August. After that, all the training will be conducted at the special site established at Fort Hood. The course will consist of 12 weeks of training with combinations of classroom, online, and hands-on. In addition to the training, those participants selected will receive special career counseling and job placement services. Obviously, GM is hoping to obtain the lion's share of the graduates from the program.

It is officially called the SHIFTING GEARS AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICIAN TRAINING PROGRAM and is a multi-year partnership between Raytheon, General Motors, and the Army. It is being placed under control of the Army's 'Soldier For Life' support program. That is already in place and helps soldiers that are leaving the Army to reintegrate into their communities.

Steve Hill is General Motors' Vice-President for U.S. Sales and Service. He commented, “Shifting Gears illustrates GM’s commitment to serving those who serve America. GM has supported the U.S. military for 100 years. From providing purpose-built vehicles in conflict situations to today’s support for veterans and returning military personnel, we continue to be their strong allies.”

General Motors has thousands of their world-wide employees that are military veterans, so GM's support for the United States armed forces spans several generations within families. Chevy is known for its support of the annual Army-Navy game and is the official vehicle for the historic game. Buick, Chevy, and GMC vehicles are all offered at discounts to active duty, reservists, retirees, some veterans, and their spouses. The 'GM Military Discount' program is for the US Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard. GM also partners with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for their 'Hiring Our Heroes' which helps find meaningful employment for veterans.

This new SHIFTING GEARS program will obviously emphasize the skills needed to become a service technician at GM dealerships all across America. Graduates of the program will have access to available GM employment opportunities through the GM authorized dealer network. The skills, however, will be invaluable even if the graduated veteran wishes to seek employment from a different automotive dealership.

Interested active duty soldiers nearing the end of their active duty should contact their military base for more information. The career counseling, transitioning, or other type office should be the first step. If it is an Army base, contact the 'Soldier For Life' support program manager on the base.