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JUL 2018

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GIJOBS.COM | JULY 2018 | G.I. JOBS 25 SUCCESS SPOTLIGHT: MANUFACTURING ON THE FAST TRACK WITH HYUNDAI'S VET PROGRAM WHEN SEAN EASTON STARTED out from his hometown of Duke Center, Pa., he wasn't sure where his Army career as a wheeled vehicle mechanic (91B) would take him. After four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he settled in at Fort Stewart in Georgia. While waiting for a medical discharge, Easton contem- plated what was next after military life. He learned about a local job fair online and there he met Robert Kortje, who heads up Hyundai Motor America's Veteran Employment Tran- sition program (VET). Kortje was attending the on-base job fair with a representative from nearby Peacock Hyundai of Savannah. As they talked it became clear to Easton that with the right training, he could have a job waiting for him upon his separation. He shared his thoughts with Kortje and Hyundai's VET program went into action on Easton's behalf. Kortje registered Easton into the Hyundai Learning Portal (HLP) and enrolled him in the instructor-led Technician Orientation class. In the meantime, with access to HLP Easton took advantage of all the online courses he could. In fact, by the time he walked into Peacock Hyundai of Savannah to follow up on a po- tential job, Easton was Bronze Level and had completed all courses required to transfer to the new Hyundai Service Technician designation. In addition, he also had most of the courses needed to pursue Certified Techni- cian status. When Peacock Service Manager Dan Cook saw Easton's drive, motivation, training and certification it was a matter of filling out the employment paper- work. Another successful transition was underway. Easton describes the help the VET program offered. "What you guys are doing is excellent," he said. "Now that I am in the industry I can see the value of bring- ing military education and training into a shop." He added that there are many similarities between shop or parts policies and proce- dures within the military environment. Easton offered insight as a transitioning vet- eran. "There are many unknowns at the end of your duty. Having someone there who shows inter- est in your abilities eases the impact of some of the unknowns." Robert Kortje and Dan Cook filled that role for Sean. It has been almost three years since Easton joined Hyundai. Thanks to his accelerated start through the VET program, he just recently attained Platinum Master Technician status. The VET program let him show his desire to advance and actually compress the time required to reach full certification. More than a uniform patch, Easton desired to add informa- tion that could help him in the workplace. "The instructors have all been to National Skills or World Skills. Their experience and training can be put to good use," he said. With so many openings at shops in the industry, the military offers a source of new talent. Hyundai's VET program and HyundaiCareers.com provide a gateway for transition to veterans. "Now that I am in the industry I can see the value of bringing military education and training into a shop." Platinum Master Sean Easton builds a short block at Peacock Hyundai of Savannah. BY COREY WYLDE

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