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CPTC leads the way with innovative program

The Fundamental Skills for Manufacturing and Engineering class at Clover Park Technical College offers transitioning servicemembers an opportunity to gain valuable job skills. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Fundamentals shape destinies.

For many members of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community transitioning from active-duty to civilian duty, understanding the basics of the career they want to pursue is vital.

"The program we're in here at Clover Park Technical College is about fundamentals, the basics," explained Spc. Jeff Rosser, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, who will soon leave the Army. "It's all about first steps, learning the basics."

The Fundamental Skills for Manufacturing and Engineering, or FSME, class at CPTC, an 11-week program, prepares transitioning soldiers for a career in high-tech jobs. Once students complete the class, they enter internships.

Sgt. Sean Milam, 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, knows this to be true. He has an internship and possible job already lined up with a local calibration company.

"This program helps take the skills we have and show us how to think about them differently," said Milam.

The FSME class fits nicely with the college's mechatronics degree program. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary subject combining mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, control engineering and computer engineering.

The FSME program reads like a well-drafted blueprint.

The college provides the FSME instruction and assists in recruitment and enrollment.  

The Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound, or CAMPS, provides initial screening of potential candidates through its M2M program at JBLM, while Camo2Commerce provides funding for the JBLM soldiers in the class.

"This is a very unique program," explained Rob Comer, a retired first sergeant and spokesman for Camo2Commerce.

The organization's influence is nationwide and successful at securing federal funding to help programs like the FSME class at Clover Park Technical College.

"The emphasis is on hiring experienced and well-disciplined servicemembers and putting them into the business world."

For more information about the FSME class and Clover Park Technical College, visit

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