Meet Alphonso BynesVET² Graduate Starts Civilian Career in IT Apr 21, 2014 | By Gordana Goudie
While serving 12 years in the U.S. Army as a Black Hawk crew chief and aviation mechanic, Alphonso Bynes earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems management and a master’s degree in information technology management. When he arrived in the Savannah area in 2011, he taught business classes at nearby colleges and he was an instructor for the U.S. Army Aviation Logistics School while on active duty from 2001 to 2013.
In early 2014, Bynes decided to jump back into in the information systems industry. He searched and applied for several military job assistance programs. Less than a week after he applied online for Georgia Tech’s Veterans Education Training and Transition program, he received an email and a phone call from Dr. James Wilburn, Georgia Tech Professional Education’s academic program director for military, and Bynes had a course ID in hand.
The four-week, full-time program is one of the first job placement assistance programs for veterans in the nation. Georgia Tech helps active duty service members readjust to civilian life and overcome employment hurdles.
“You really hit the ground running,” Bynes says. “The Georgia Tech program pays close attention to matching veterans with jobs that will benefit them and help them develop a career, not just give them a paycheck.”
The program matches veterans with employers who want to hire professional military employees with workforce training. The goal is for temporary placements to turn into permanent positions.
“I really enjoyed the person-to-person guidance rather than being stuck in a classroom of 60 people,” Bynes said. “They keep the program small so they can personally go over your resume.”
As part of the program, Bynes worked as the IT coordinator for International Auto Logistics in Brunswick, which handles the shipment of military vehicles overseas. Hired permanently after the program, Bynes is setting up the IT infrastructure and consults on security products and software.
“In other programs, you train to find a job, but here, you already secure the position and then train to fit in,” he says.
Bynes believes other veterans can benefit from the program’s unique job-matching and transition services.
“Most veterans feel burned out about trying to pursue something new and end up getting just another job when they return,” he says. “Instead, go in with an open mind and focus on having a successful career when you exit the military. This program is built to help you get into a company and find the right position.”