Mohawk Valley Community College, SUNY Poly and Fort Drum are teaming up. They’re helping soldiers that will be leaving the military soon with their transition back into the civilian work force.

Mechatronics, Hydraulics and Pneumatics…these are all topics the military servicemen will be learning in labs just like this one all week.

Eleven men chosen from Fort Drum are visiting MVCC to prep for a new life outside of uniform.

“We’re working with them to try to give them some skill sets that we think will be very marketable to the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Kate Alcott, Associate Director of NEATEC (Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center).

Alcott said nearly 300 soldiers leave the military each month. This program aims to lead them in the right direction when they do.

“We want to make sure that they have a job before they leave military service and that our manufacturers have the highly skilled workforce they want and need,” Alcott said.

It involves seven days of hands-on training and the last day will be spent networking with manufacturers. Lary Parker has been in service for nearly twenty years. Since it’s been a while, he’s nervous about applying for jobs.

“Now, coming to the program, I feel more confident in myself that some of the skills that I have, I can fill in the blanks,” Parker said.

Parker is seeking a career in hydraulics once he retires in January.

“I can have a better career for my family. Ending my career in the military and starting a new career in the civilian world,” Parker said.

And parker isn’t the only one feeling this way.

“Almost all of them have families. You know, they, they don’t want to go on unemployment. They want to go right to work. So, that’s why this program is so important,” Alcott said.

The men will be graduating next Wednesday after a field trip to the NanoTech Center in Albany.