Serving Those Who Served
Little did I realize the tremendous opportunities to support veterans, until I recently participated in the launch of SCServes in Charleston, SC!
Returning home, I connected with the NCServes network, which had just completed its first year helping 1,224 veterans, transitioning service members and their families. Of the 2,481 requests, the No. 1 need was employment.
The volunteer career ministry leader at my church, Dave Wood, and I attended NCServes’ first Employment Community Action Team meeting at the Goodwill Opportunity Center in Charlotte. Everyone was invited to introduce themselves and their services.
Dave, a retired USAF major and an analyst with a Department of Defense contractor, shared about our church’s quarterly career workshops, weekly support groups, and individual coaching – including that he is currently helping a combat veteran advance his career.
I presented the Crossroads Career Network, featuring our seven-step process and workbook, online resources, on-the-ground ministries and employers with jobs.
The meeting concluded with lots of connecting, opportunities to make smart referrals, and share resources to help one another serve veterans.
Collaborating to Support
As is true of anyone in a transition, the more than 200,000 military personnel annually entering “the real world” of civilian life need help.
The Crossroads Career mission is to educate, equip, and encourage people who are seeking jobs, careers, or God’s calling. Our belief is that everyone is God’s masterpiece created for good works. Our strategy combines:
- Our Crossroads Career Work Book, featuring a proven seven-step, faith-based process.
- Free online resources, including resume builder, career interest profiler, prayer network, over 200 tools and tips, plus access to:
- On-the-ground career ministries offering job search and career growth workshops, small groups and coaching.
- Our Job Connection with over 4,000 employers with over 500,000 jobs
I also called on two new friends to share how best to serve veterans, and put together the Top five Free Career Resources for Veterans.
- Terry Gerton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for VETS at the U.S. Department of Labor, recommended:
“Our No. 1 website to help veterans get jobs is our Careers and Employment page at https://www.dol.gov/veterans/. It connects job seekers to all of DOL’s online tools including the career one stop, but also includes links to other federal training and employment programs and to the veteran-focused resources in every state. We unveiled it in May and it’s been a huge hit.”
“My No. 2 recommendation is that veterans go in person to their local American Job Center, where they can get great, free, personalized employment support.”
- Jim McDonough, Managing Director, Programs and Services, Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families, added:
“I agree with Terry on the dol.gov/veterans website and personal visits to American Job Centers. A couple of other resources I recommend are the Hire a Million Veterans initiative and Hire Heroes.”
“The most important help I recommend is to encourage veterans to take full advantage of the resources, to act in their own best interest and take responsibility. Finding good work is hard work. Getting a job IS a job.”
Collaborating together, we can provide veterans counsel, contacts and encouragement to help them get good jobs, develop their careers, and follow God’s calling.
Top Five Free Career Resources for Veterans
- Department of Labor Resources for Veterans
- Visit Local Career One Stop Centers
- Hiring One Million Veterans
- Transform Military Service into Civilian Success
- One-Year Premium LinkedIn Subscription for Veterans
Celebrating Our Veterans
Let us not only celebrate veterans just on the annual Veterans Day holiday, but also honor veterans and active military personnel for all our days ahead.
Of the more than 324 million people in America today, more than 21 million are veterans and approximately 1.4 million armed forces are currently serving. Words come to mind like gratitude, thanksgiving and respect for their service and sacrifice. Let’s remember that, “Freedom is not free,” as once proclaimed by US Air Force Colonel Ryan Gremillion, and “Never have so many owed so much to so few,” as the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill had praised his country’s defenders.
Yet, there is much more to acclaim.
According to the Revisiting the Business Case for Hiring A Veteran report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, veterans possess 10 talents that are “rare, valuable and differentiated.” Employers will find on average that veterans:
- Are entrepreneurial
- Assume high levels of trust
- Are adept at skills transfer across contexts and tasks
- Have and leverage advanced technical training
- Are comfortable and adept in discontinuous environments
- Exhibit high levels of resiliency
- Exhibit advanced team-building skills
- Exhibit strong organizational commitment
- Have and leverage cross-cultural experiences
- Have experience and skill in diverse work settings
Veterans are not only qualified for a wide variety of jobs and industries, but they also bring qualities they learned and earned in the military.