Operation Partnership is a three-day event and a collaboration of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Military Council, Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay, Leadership Tampa Alumni and the Chamber’s Women of Influence Committee. The goal of the event is to help those men and women who are transitioning out of the military begin to make connections with the Tampa Bay business community so they can find employment locally.

Transition Tampa

The first day, entitled “Transition Tampa,” is a half day event held in June. Transitioning military members hear successful transition stories, as well as the best way to conduct a civilian interview, how to best network and build relationships, translate military skills to private workforces and what to expect when interviewing for a civilian job. In addition, attendees also have the opportunity for one-on-one resume writing and translating assistance. The event takes place at MacDill Air Force Base and is open to all those in the military who will be transitioning out within the next year.

Active Duty and Reservists who are considering a civilian career are invited to this interactive employability workshop, led by Chamber of Commerce members and volunteers. Topics will include:

  • Preparing for your job search
  • Articulating transferable skills
  • Perspectives from recently transitioned veterans
  • Active Duty and Reserve service members who are looking to transition into a civilian career are invited to attend this morning seminar with Tampa business people.
  • Attendees will learn about interview and workplace skills, experience one-on-one resume critiquing, and have the opportunity to participate in mock interviews.
  • This event is free for participants and Lunch will be provided.

Civilian Career Day

Civilian Career Day is held in August and provides transitioning military members the opportunity to spend a half a day at work with a Chamber member. They are paired up based on history and areas of interest. The day begins with a breakfast at the Chamber, and then each pair returns to the Chamber member’s business. This allows the military member to have a firsthand account of the civilian working environment. The agenda is:

  • 8 – 8:30am – Breakfast, networking, pairing of participants
  • 8:30 – 9am – Program
  • 9am – 2pm – Service members join Chamber members at their business

Business After Hours

Finally, the third day is a Business After Hours held in October that is a modification of a traditional Chamber after hours event. Participants from the first two days are encouraged to attend this casual networking event to further expand their connecting to Chamber members and the business community.

Participants are encouraged to attend all three events to maximize their networking potential. During the 2016 program, there were over 150 military members who participated and over 200 members of the business community. In 2017, the goal is to have over 200 members of the military and 300 business leaders.

As an example of the Hub for Business pillar, Operation Partnership brings traditional chamber style networking and the community support for the military together in a unique program. The overall goal of Operation Partnership is not to find employment for military members who are transitioning to civilian life, although that does occur often, but rather to begin and strengthen the participants’ networking with the local business community. By hosting the program over three separate days, there are opportunities for more members of the military to participate as well as to engage more Chamber members who wish to help support the men and women serving at MacDill Air Force Base.