This October, my brother-in-law will conclude his career in the Marine Corps. This guy IS the Marines. For most of his 20-year career, he has been part of the Marines’ elite recon force, equivalent to ninjas in my book. So that is why when the phone rings and the guy asks me for some help getting a job, I make it top priority. Mind you, this is the guy that said to me before I married his sister, “You hurt my sister and I will break your face.”
In truth, there are quite a few programs available to help veterans return to work after their military service, especially right now. Programs like Elevate America Veterans, a partnership between Microsoft® and the U.S. Department of Labor that trains veterans and their eligible spouses at no cost in essential Microsoft applications to prepare them for the workforce. And this is not the only assistance available for vets.
The Texas Workforce Commission’s Texas Veterans Leadership Program should be the first stop for veterans transitioning back into civilian life. Here they will find resources on job seeking, education and housing, among other topics. The program offers veterans a wealth of information that includes available financial assistance.
Now, it sounded snarky to my brother-in-law when I said, “Did you know our Workforce Solutions career offices give veterans priority service over the rest of the customers?” He didn’t believe me at first, but after a while I convinced him that it was true! Veterans not only get top billing at our offices, they also receive priority in our job posting database, WorkInTexas. That means before jobs are offered to the public through our system, veterans get first choice.
I then introduced him to the O*Net Military Crosswalk Search. The Military Crosswalk Search allows veterans to connect their military occupational classification (MOC) with relevant workforce skills and occupations. My brother-in-law was pleased by the fact that several occupations connected directly with his MOC. (I was too!)
I also shared two other great resources to assist with his transition. First, VeteranstoEnergy a website that provides a wealth of job leads in the energy sector. It connects these jobs directly to military occupation classifications, thus making the search much more relevant and useful. Additionally, there is Team Trident that provides local job leads for veterans in the energy sector.
That was enough information to get him started; and thankfully, he seemed pleased. I suggested he keep his eye out for other programs out there that companies are offering, such as Chase Bank’s job bank for veterans or the 100,000 jobs mission, a coalition of corporations working to provide jobs to veterans.
I guess he figured I was talking down to him, because he just hung up on me without saying goodbye. Hopefully, the leads I gave him will help and he’ll thank me later. I really want to keep peace in the family.
Michael Webster serves as an Industry Liaison to the Education Sector for the Gulf Coast Workforce Board. With over a decade of experience in teaching and staff development, Michael is passionate about ensuring all students achieve an enriching and successful life beyond high school. In his current capacity, he services school districts in developing a strong workforce and in delivering career resources to students and their families.