Transition to Trades, an approved Career Skills Program (CSP) developed by Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical and U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Campbell, celebrated its 7th Cohort Graduation with a veteran’s appreciation luncheon on Thursday, November 8 in Clarksville.

Transition to Trades, launched on July 5, 2016, allows separating soldiers the opportunity to attend Total Tech trade school (a subsidiary of Hiller, LLC) to learn valuable technical career skills while remaining active duty in the U.S. Army. Total Tech offers a unique approach to technician training through classroom and hands-on laboratory instruction in a 15,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. As part of the program, students are guaranteed an employment interview. Through its partnerships with PRAXIS S-10 and, a national success college and network for contractors, Transition to Trades has expanded to include national placement opportunities with over 150 contractors across the United States.

To celebrate the program’s achievements, on Thursday, November 8, Hiller, Transition to Trades, and Total Tech School hosted a Veteran’s Appreciation Luncheon at Hiller’s Clarksville location. The event was free to all veterans and their families, and was fully catered by Mission BBQ. Prior to the festivities was a graduation ceremony honoring the latest cohort of graduates, featuring keynote speaker, Grammy-Award winning songwriter, Joe West.

“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”, remarked Joe West, the keynote speaker from Thursday’s event. “From your service, we know that you have passion, direction, and focus“, he continued, “And now you have the tools, training, and experience that you need to be successful in your new careers.”

Since its inception, Transition to Trades has proudly graduated 397 members from the HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing trades. Of those graduates, 321 soldiers are now employed full-time in the industry, with 102 working full-time at Hiller, and 31 have reenlisted or gone back to further their education. The program has received United States Congressional Recognition and recognition from Tennessee’s Governor Haslam for its dedication to providing stable careers for veterans.

“We are honored to play a small part in the lives of these brave men and women”, remarked Phillip Mize, CFO of Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical and Total Tech School. “The plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical trades are expected to increase by 21% over the next 4 years”, he continued. “At the same time, 22% of the existing workforce will retire, so we have jobs! Who else is better to fill this gap than the hard working, dedicated soldiers of the United States of America?”