Meet Wayne Stenberg
Executive Director, Semcac
Retired Air Force Active/Reserves Veteran
Retired E-9 Chief Master Sergeant
24 years of service
SE MN Workforce Development Board Member since 2004
Thank you for your service to our country. Tell me about your military career and
what/who influenced you to join the Air Force?
I started my career in the Active Air Force and retired as an E-9, Chief Master Sergeant in the
Air Force Reserves. My brother was in the Navy and encouraged me to join the armed
forces. I was undecided in college and thought it would be best to join the Air Force and
invest in the Montgomery GI bill.
What resources were available to assist you with your military-to-civilian workforce
I was taking college classes while on active duty at Ellsworth, South Dakota and was
attending Black Hills State University. My books and 90% of my classes were paid for by the
Air Force. There were classrooms located on the base.
I joined the Air Force Reserves when I was ready to move into civilian life and that helped me
to make a smooth transition out of Active Duty. It allowed me to keep taking college
courses and I was able to work part time. It also opened the door into medical
Did you seek additional education or training once you returned to civilian life? If yes, what
kind of training or degree?
I received a Bachelor of Science Teaching / Education degree at Winona State University. I
also received many hours of training through the Air Force Reserves. I became an
Emergency Medical Technician and was educated in two medical career fields.
What military leadership experience, skills, and/or knowledge do you use on a daily basis in
your leadership role as the Executive Director of Semcac?
Some of the best training in leadership was when I moved into the E7 – E9 ranks. This is the
upper management of the military corps. Only 1% of those who are enlisted achieve the E-9
The military teaches you to finish a job with excellence, complete tasks, and show up on
time and other life skills.
The military does an excellent job of ensuring that you succeed. There are classes, extra
course work and tech schools that you can attend. The curriculum prepares you for
leadership and gives you a solid grasp of career expectations. I believe that the skill sets
that I learned in the military helped me to understand how to successfully work in
When recruiting for a position within your organization, what stands out about veterans as
job candidates? What might make them appealing to hiring managers?
Veterans bring strong life skills to the job market. They will stay on task and complete their
assignments. They are committed to the team and loyal to their company. They are a solid
asset to any employer looking for new hires.
If a young adult is considering enlisting in the Air Force, but not intending to make the
military a career; what Air Force job position(s) translate best into today’s civilian job
It really depends on the individual. There are opportunities in cyber security, medical, food
service, law enforcement, dental, aircraft maintenance, civil engineering and just about any
field you can reference. I would say that no matter what field people are exploring that they
will receive skills that will help them achieve their long term career goals.
Any other information you’d like to share?
I found that the Air Force / Reserves was a positive place for me to prepare for life and my
~ Wayne Stenberg