A Conversation with Bob (the Parrot Head): A Veteran’s Veteran

danny-0509Part 1 in a two-part series on Veteran Services.
I have the pleasure of being friend and family to many people who currently serve or have served in the Armed Forces.  It was therefore disheartening to watch a news special which addressed the number of returning servicemen and women who are entering civilian life after providing us a great duty, many directly on the battlefield, only to find they are faced with a tight job market.  On top of that, many veterans are faced with the challenge of identifying skills which will translate to the civilian world.

Fortunately, I have the pleasure of working with Bob.  Bob is one of two LVERs (Lead Veteran Employment Representatives) who oversee VERs (Veteran Employment Representatives) and DVOPs, who specifically assist disabled veterans.  (Like our soldiers, I too can learn to speak in acronyms!)  These individuals have chosen to continue their duty of service in a special way by working for the Texas Veterans Commission. Their jobs are to help veterans find work. 

So, I decided to sit down with Bob and see what they can offer.  First, all veterans are to receive priority service in any Workforce Solutions office.  This means that, even if a Vet Rep is not available in an office a veteran visits; they can sit down and talk to someone about their job search.  They can also be referred to a Vet Rep at a nearby office for additional resources.  And, veterans looking for work do have special resources.

Of course, you can always search for positions using Work in Texas. There are employers who love to hire veterans, such as the Intercontinental Hotel and Locke Protective Services.  However, you can also search for positions on a website dedicated to veterans called Vet Central   These jobs are listed to help bring more veteran applicants to companies seeking the dedication and skill sets of our returning service people. 

Bob sends an announcement to each of his Vet Reps weekly to provide the most relevant labor market information about the jobs available in our area that are posted on Vet Central.  This way, Vet Reps are equipped with the most current workforce knowledge to help our veterans get good jobs.  On top of the job search resources, vets have special funds available through a variety of resources including over $2 million in grant funds that were awarded to various agencies throughout the state to assist veterans with such things as transportation to medical facilities and housing assistance for homeless vets.   There are also additional monies available through the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization that assist with financial hardship and even legal issues that may have arisen as a result (direct or indirect) of service deployment.

Bob was proud to share with me a news release that praised Texas for leading the nation in getting vets back to work.  We are proud of our veterans and take special pride in and care for our Texas veterans, Bob included.  He is a good guy and has the best interests of our vets in his top priorities.  Bob is also a Parrot Head (fan of Jimmy Buffet) and enjoys traveling with his lovely wife (also a vet) all over the globe.  He deserves every reward life offers.   Bob also works hard and leads a team to work hard for our vets so that they too can enjoy life’s rewards.  Every vet needs a Bob in their lives.  Veterans, I thank you for your service and encourage you to visit your local Workforce Solutions office to find your Bob.



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