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The U.S. Department of Defense's SkillBridge Program enables active-duty servicemembers with commander approval to gain work experience through internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships with employers during their final six months of service. Military personnel of any rank and branch are eligible to participate in SkillBridge and maintain their DOD salary and benefits during the training period.

Veterans Florida, the state's designated SkillBridge assistance organization, helps employers create qualified SkillBridge workforce training and matches transitioning servicemembers to their opportunities.

In 2021 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 435 creating the nation's first statewide SkillBridge initiative and designating Veterans Florida as the state's SkillBridge assistance organization.

About Veterans Florida

Veterans Florida is a non-profit created by the State of Florida to help military veterans and their families transition to civilian life and to promote Florida's status as the nation's most veteran-friendly state. Veterans Florida is also the state's designated DOD SkillBridge assistance organization. Visit veteransflorida.org for more information.


  • Joe Marino (Executive Director of Veterans Florida)

    Joe Marino

    Executive Director of Veterans Florida


    Joe Marino is the Executive Director of Florida is for Veterans, Inc., d/b/a Veterans Florida, a state created non-profit which provides career and entrepreneurship resources to veterans, separating active duty service members.

    A 1993 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Joe Marino served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army on Active Duty then in the Reserves for a total of eight years.

    In 2002, he started working in Florida state government becoming well-versed in Florida’s legislative process, veterans’ advocacy, and defense economic development while at the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.

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Veterans Florida Skillbridge Program

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