Changing Lanes helps Fort Bragg soldiers transition to civilian work

Akilah Davis Image
Saturday, August 3, 2019
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Soldiers learn a trade as they prepare to leave Army

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Inside the Caliber Collision Academy, Fort Bragg soldier's transitioning out of the military are hard at work. Among them is Spc. Garrett Carter. His last day in the Army is quickly approaching.

"I didn't really have a secure idea of where I was going to work and what I was going to do," Carter said. "This kind of has taken a lot of stress off my shoulders."

He's a part of a program called Changing Lanes, which is a partnership between Fayetteville Technical Community College and Caliber Collision.

It is designed to train and certify soldiers leaving the Army in just 18 weeks. The program is free and offers students nine industry-standard certifications and a job as an auto-body technician with Caliber Collision.

"You're learning how to do solely body work on cars and whatever is damaged on it. We repair and replace," said student Caleb Underwood.

"Our cars come from Enterprise car rentals from across Fayetteville, Sanford, Lumberton and Dunn. The students get that hands-on training, and these cars come in and go back to Enterprise car rentals," said Patrick Brooks with Caliber Collision.

The current students are two weeks away from graduation. They told ABC11 that they are equipped with tools to carry them into their next chapter of life.

"It's difficult and won't be easy, but I'm going to stick with this," Underwood said.