Interviewing a Workforce Veteran

DiegoA Fun and insightful conversation with a former marine
Today I’m interviewing one of our staff at Workforce Solutions – Southeast.

Ms. Jo Ikard is a former marine and currently assists veterans who come to our office looking for work. She began her career with Workforce Solutions in January of 2015.

Diego Travino: Ms. Ikard, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to contribute to Workforce Solutions’ Blogforce. How are you today?

Jo Ikard: Pretty good, Thanks!

DT: What branch of military did you serve, and why did you choose that branch?

JI: I served in the United States Marine Corps. I chose this branch because in High School, while doing my research, I learned that the Marines were known to be the biggest, the “baddest” and the best.

DT: How did you first hear about Workforce Solutions?

JI: While serving in the Marines, I obtained experience in Geographical Information Systems or “GIS.” When I moved back to Southeast Texas, there was no employment available in GIS, and I had to collect unemployment.

Upon visiting a nearby Workforce Solutions office, I networked my way into a Summer Youth Program/Service. Thanks to the networking I did and someone recognizing my great customer service skills, I was approached for a Veteran’s Representative role with the organization.

DT: What is one service that Workforce Solutions provides to veterans that most people do not know about?

JI: Most people do not know about the case management services we offer to veterans. They don’t know that they may meet specific criteria, which may qualify them for specific services to assist them in getting to work. These include homelessness, consistent low income and having a disability, just to name a few.

DT: What advice can you give to veterans transitioning into civilian life and entering the workforce?

JI: Do your research. There are so many organizations that will help you enter the workforce. They will give you the knowledge and resources needed to build a successful career. Also, study labor market information to make sure you are pursuing the right career, that there is a need for that career in our region, and that you are geographically positioned to succeed in that career.

DT: What does Veteran’s Day mean to you?

JI: I do not think of myself when I think of Veteran’s Day. Veteran’s Day reminds me of all of those who are in war zones,Ikard risking their lives so I can have a better life. Veteran’s Day truly makes me respect all of those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

Ms. Jo Ikard, we thank you for the knowledge and advice you shared today. Thank you for your service during and after your time in the military. It’s truly an honor to work alongside you as we assist people in the Gulf Coast region Texas with their overall goal of finding good jobs!

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Announcement: The Texas Workforce Commission is proud to announce the fourth annual Hiring Red, White and You! statewide career fair to take place on November 12, 2015 at Minute Maid Park from 9:00am – 1:00pm.

Hiring Red, White and You! connects Texas veterans and their spouses with Texas employers who value the experience, discipline and other exceptional qualities inherent with a military background.

Don’t miss out on this job fair. We’ll have 150 employers and more than 2,500 jobs available. Register today!
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Diego Trevino is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. Before joining the regional team, he served as a greeter, employment counselor and staffing specialist. Earlier in his career he traveled to South Korea where he taught students English. He uses past teaching experiences and present workforce knowledge to conduct job skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast Region.



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