Veterans are getting a deserved helping hand in finding employment once they return home, thanks to a series of seminars hosted at the Veterans Support Office at College of the Canyons.
Brad Spahr is behind the effort to help returning vets and hopes to fill a gap left when young men and women answered the country’s call.
“Veterans have skills and experience that are in demand in the civilian job market,” he said. “Many have entered the military out of high school and don’t know how to approach the civilian job market, don’t appreciate the skills and experience they’ve acquired and don’t know how to express what they’ve done in terms that will allow the average civilian to understand their value. This workshop will assist them in developing strategies and action plans to bridge those issues and conduct a successful job search.”
The program is open to all veterans, whether they are students already or not, and their spouses. Many of those invited to participate in the program are already associated with SCV Habitat for Heroes, a program that assists veterans and their families find or improve their housing with some help from the community.
The first seminar is scheduled for 9 a.m. this Friday in the Veterans Support Office at COC’s Valencia campus and will be followed by two more hour-long sessions in the next two weeks. Some of the topics to be covered include:
* The Search Process – What works and what doesn’t when you’re looking for a job.
* Self-Assessment – What skills and experience do you have and how do you express them so a civilian will appreciate your value? How to build your personal brand.
* Developing a Search Strategy – What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?
* Preparing a Resume – Resume strategies and translating military experience into civilian
* Networking – Developing and managing contacts, building a support network
* Interview Skills – Communicating in a civilian business world.
Seminars will be presented in three interactive sessions, which will consist of lecture material and breakout time in which the vets prepare, present and critique the actual materials they will use in their job searches.
Spahr said that once the initial sessions are complete, he hopes to keep the group together with regular meetings in which the vets can share experiences and lessons learned as they move through the job search process.
He’s also enlisted the help of Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit based in Atlanta that provides services to job-hunting vets, such as job postings, job fairs, partner companies interested in hiring vets, job search seminars and resume preparation assistance.
The seminars are open to all veterans and their spouses who are looking for a job. For more information and to reserve a spot in the first gathering, call the COC Veterans Support Office at 661-362-3469.