When 21-year-old Levi Vaske knows what he wants, he doesn’t waste time. He went straight from high school to the Marine Corps, where he advanced to the rank of corporal and served as a squad leader in the infantry during his four-year stint. When Vaske decided to start a family and plant roots in his native northern Kentucky, he got a head start on his civilian career through Skillbridge.
Skillbridge is a Department of Defense program that gives members of the military the opportunity to spend the last 180 days of their service working as interns with a participating industry partner. EquipmentShare has participated in the program since April 2022. It has hired more than 50 of its Skillbridge interns as full-time employees.
Vaske is a great example. He began his internship in January 2023 and spent most of his time as a service technician. The job appealed to his mechanical nature — he grew up working on equipment and vehicles on the family farm — and he caught on quickly.
“I like hiring people from the military,” said Nate Bergjohann, the general manager of EquipmentShare’s branch in Cincinnati. “I tell them what to do, and then they pretty much just take off. That’s what I saw in Levi. You show him once, and he figures it out and takes control. That’s a very valuable thing.”
As his internship wound down over the summer, Vaske had a lot on his mind. His wife, Tristyn, gave birth to their son, Hudson, in June. A few weeks later, Vaske traveled to California to complete the process of leaving the Marines. One thing he didn’t have to worry about was finding a full-time job.
The Cincinnati branch had an opening for a field tech, which is a mechanic who travels to jobsites to fix equipment. It usually isn’t an entry-level position, but because Vaske had proven himself during his internship, Bergjohann knew he was capable. Now, Vaske has a fulfilling job, a company truck and a good salary to provide for his new family.
“I got six months of experience at EquipmentShare before I even became an employee, so it helped me get on my feet,” Vaske said. “I’m appreciative beyond all comprehension for that. I would tell any service member to do it.”
If your military career is winding down and you’re thinking about your next move, learn more about EquipmentShare’s commitment to hiring veterans.