TCL helps transitional military prepare for employment

The Technical College of the Lowcountry Transitioning Military Training Program has been offering classes for nearly a year, helping military members refine their skills to match the demands of today’s employers. And it’s working.

“Prior service members have a wealth of experience, but often have difficulty landing jobs because they lack certifications that formalize their experience and abilities,” TMT Program Director Paul Merritt said. “TCL’s TMT program is helping these service members get the national certification and licensing they need to find employment in the civilian sector.”


The TMT program is currently offering three courses. The Airframe & Powerplant Certification Prep Course prepares former military aircraft mechanics for the Federal Aviation Administration examinations. In addition to three weeks of classroom instruction, students receive hands-on practice using various training devices and aircraft components that TCL purchased and stores at Battery Creek High School. To date, 28 students have successfully completed the course, 19 have earned their license and nine are pending oral/practical exams. Licensed aircraft mechanics are in high demand throughout the region and typically work in either the aircraft maintenance field or in aerospace manufacturing, said Merritt.

The Federal Communications Commission Licensing Prep Course prepares military avionics technicians and radio/electronics repair technicians to attain their FCC General Radiotelephone Operator licenses (elements one and three). The attainment of the FCC license enables a technician to service aircraft and maritime radio and navigation systems. To date, 39 students have successfully completed the course and have earned their elements one and three licenses.

The Certified Logistics Technician Program is a two-phase program that takes about two months to complete. It begins with the Certified Logistics Associate course. When completed, the student is qualified to take the Certified Logistics Technician course. Both the CLA and CLT courses are part of the nationally recognized Manufacturing Skills Standards Council curriculum, which prepares individuals to work in warehousing, shipping, receiving and supply chain management positions. To date, 34 students have attained their certification.

These licenses and certifications are critical in helping veterans find valuable employment outside of the military.

“The primary goal of the program is to enhance our veterans’ ability to land a well-paying job or to gain increased opportunities at a current job,” Merritt said.

And this is already happening.

For example, former students are now working in aerospace-related jobs at Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, Ga.; Boeing Aerospace in Charleston; Interstate Turbine Management also in Charleston; Savannah Technical College; and with various maintenance contractors at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.


The program is currently funded by the state and covers all student costs through June 30. Merritt hopes that the program will become a permanent part of the college.

“This state-funded program is paying big dividends for our veterans and for our region. It is helping our veterans get high quality, high paying jobs,” Merritt said.

Plus, the skilled workforce is attractive to employers across the region and to those looking to move to the Lowcountry.

“The program is providing regional aerospace employers with a growing pool of highly skilled, mature employees who have proven themselves through their military service,” Merritt said. “And as we look to the future, we are providing our economic development partners a valuable enticement for aerospace entities who may be considering locating to our area.”

For more information, please visit www.tcl.edu/tmt or contact TCL’s Transitioning Military Training Program office at 843-525-8340 or by email at mweiss@tcl.edu.

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