Free Programs for Vocational Growth

Military members and veterans have many training opportunities to enhance their skills. This section provides an overview of those opportunities available at no cost.

Education and Job Opportunities

Military Times website provides information on educational and job opportunities for military veterans. News, advice and resources to help you get a degree, search for a job or start your own business – from vet success stories to the most comprehensive military job fair calendar on the web.

Entrepreneur Training Program

Entrepreneurship Training program at the University of North Florida Adam W. Herbert University Center for Veterans that takes place over a three night period. You will have an opportunity to talk with entrepreneurs and investors about how they started from the ground up. Past training sessions have included: Developing an Idea for a Business, Entrepreneurial Networking and Government Contracting, Financing, and Business Plans.

FDM Veterans Initiative

Are you a military veteran with the drive to succeed in fast-paced technical environments? Do you possess excellent communication skills with a strong aptitude for working in teams? Launch Your Civilian Information Technology and Business Career in Java Development, or Project Support / Application Support with us!

FDM Group is an international IT services provider and an award-winning organization recognized for our ongoing commitment to veterans. The FDM Veterans Initiative provides you with a comprehensive career transition solution that begins with an aptitude assessment which determines if you can make it through the training program. Then FDM provides paid / no cost vocational training in disciplines with both a business and technical focus, followed by commercial employment working with our prestigious clients as IT professionals.

FDM is seeking to employ a number of high-caliber veterans with the drive to work in the Information Technology sector. Applicants should possess the following desirable criteria:
• Ability to pass the FDM aptitude test and assessment
• Be able to relocate anywhere in the US
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
• An analytical approach and problem solving abilities
• Proven ability to work under pressure and in fast-paced environments
• Excellent attention to detail and time management abilities
• Able to commit to work for FDM for a minimum of two years
• Available to complete the training at FDM’s center in New York City or Reston, VA (ranges 12-16 weeks, depending on the training speciality)

Successful candidates will receive intense technical and professional training at FDM’s training center on Wall Street in NYC to become IT specialists in Java Development, Project Support /Application Support. Following the training, they will then be employed by FDM for a minimum of 2 years, representing FDM on client sites and supporting our clients’ technology requirements.

The high-value paid training and certifications are provided at no cost to you. FDM takes a number of key measures to ensure you a successful transition through our program including paying a stipend during the training and offering lodging to those not living near either the NYC or Reston Academies.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately online at: www.fdmgroup.com/us/apply

Florida IT Server Group

FISG provides free preparation for Microsoft Certifications and is good resource for those who would like to transition in to an IT career in the civilian sector. FISG can be contacted via email at sdmoore68@jaxfisg.us.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

If you have been unemployed/underemployed for 27 weeks or more, Florida State College at Jacksonville’s I-Tech program can get you on the fast track to a career in the IT industry! Please visit their website to learn more. http://www.fscj.edu/professional-education/i-tech-program-grant

FSCJ is one of 11 partner colleges in Complete Florida, the state of Florida’s online degree completion initiative. FSCJ currently offers 11 online associate and bachelor degree programs through Complete Florida.

A complete solution for adults with some college and no degree, Complete Florida makes the process simple and will help you build a pathway to a degree, figuring out how to accelerate your time to degree, fit it into your life and connect you to your 'what's next'. Their "coaches" work alongside as your personal advocate, counsel, and advisor.

Please visit Complete Florida's webpage for more information on current programs offered.

Scholarships are available for all programs! For Fall 2015, Special Complete Florida Military Family Scholarships are available for online IT Programs at http://www.completeflorida.org/scholarship.aspx.

Contact FSCJ via email at Peter.Shapiro@fscj.edu or ymartel@fscj.edu or contact Complete Florida directly for more information at (855) 814-8240.

Frontline Families Jacksonville Corps

Frontline Families Jacksonville Corps is under Points of Light and are hosted by HandsOn Jacksonville. They offer free, professional Volunteer Leader Training to Active Duty Military Members, Veterans, Military Family Members (ages 12 and above), and Caregivers, as a way to assist in developing and leading community service projects, solving various issues of our community. In return, the Military community will receive an opportunity to extend their service, gather community service hours, gain more experience developing and leading community service projects, and much more! The project teams will have access to the state of the art Jessie Ball DuPont Center for meetings and project events. Sign up for the Volunteer Leader Training Cohort via the online Virtual Training Portal or in-person, in the Jessie Ball duPont Center in downtown Jacksonville. Free in-person training is also available on campus. Meetings will occur each week, over approximately four to eight weeks. Register here.

The Home Builders Institute

HBI offers training opportunities in the construction industry for military members and veterans. Their mission is to advance and provide education, career development, training and placement of men and women serving the building industry.

Classes are currently enrolling for OSHA 10 Certification & CPR Certification. For class information and how to register click here.

Visit their website for more information on other training opportunities.

Jacksonville Public Library

The Jacksonville Public Library's E-Services Department is dedicated to helping users learn and master the technology needed in today's economy. All of their classes are free and open to the public.

Microsoft Elevate America

Elevate America incorporates a number of programs and resources that share a common focus; providing technology skills training, and resources to help people find employment. Microsoft’s veterans’ initiative helps U.S. veterans to transition from military to civilian employment.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy enables IT professionals to become certified for free.

National Veterans’ Training Institute 

The National Veterans’ Training Institute works with veterans’ employment and training service providers throughout the U.S. to further develop and enhance their professional skills. 

NS2 Serves

NS2 Serves is an independent, nonprofit organization established by SAP National Security Services, Inc. to give back to the community it serves – by offering training and employment assistance to recent veterans of U.S. national security missions.  

On the Job & Apprenticeship Training Programs

Both on the job (OJT) and apprenticeship training programs are available for Veterans using their VA education benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill. These programs allow Veterans to learn a trade or skill through training on the job participation rather than attending formal classroom instruction. For more information regarding OJT & apprenticeship programs and how to apply, see https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/910.

Onward to Opportunity

The Onward to Opportunity Program at Tri-Base Jacksonville offers three career tracks: Customer Service Excellence, Information Technology and Business Management. You will begin with four days of face-to-face classroom training and facilitation that includes the two-day Onward to Your Career course and the two-day foundations course in a learning pathway of your choosing. The classroom portion is followed by 6-12 weeks of online coursework to earn an industry certification.

While you complete your certification coursework, you will also participate in mixer/networking events with our National Employer Partners to hone your personal marketing techniques and skills. This is a way to gain inside perspective on careers in the private sector while introducing yourself to companies who are looking to hire O2O graduates. Additionally, National Partner Hire Heroes USA will also help to build your resume and prepare you for interviews.

For more information visit www.Onward2Opportunity-vctp.org.

Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program 

The Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, a new statewide initiative that offers qualified veterans the opportunity to receive an accelerated entrepreneurship education at no cost, is now accepting applications. The pilot program will begin its first phase in March. Space is limited. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2016. For more information, and to apply, please visit www.FloridaVetBiz.org.

Veterans In Piping

A five-year apprenticeship program offered by the United Association, the Veterans in Piping program trains men and women in challenging trades while upholding the ideals of trade unionism. Veterans may receive training in plumbing, pipefitting, sprinkler fitting, HVAC service, or welding.

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment OJT/Apprenticeships

Employers hiring Veterans with a service-connected disability who are approved for VR&E services may be entitled reimbursements up to 50% of the Veterans’ salary for six months to offset training costs. Additional information about the VR&E OJT program is located here.