August 26, 2014
When it comes to finding a job as a veteran it's all about highlighting your skills.
“That's what employers look for,” says Michael Barnes, Veterans Employment Representative. “They need someone who is well rounded and who can do something for them.”
Barnes at the Virginia Workforce Center in Charlottesville works with veterans to figure out just that; how to show off the skills they already have.
“When we do that it's amazing, we will present it to the individual and they say ‘Wow,’ that's what they are, that's who they are and that's what the veteran has to do, say who am I in the civilian world.”
Once they get their resumes together Barnes, who served in the Air Force for over 20 years himself, starts reaching out to businesses.
“All the employers in the area are veteran friendly, they want to help veterans, but what happens is we ask them to put their money where their mouth,” says Barnes. “What we do is try to educate the employers to look at the veteran.”
“You need to look at the individual and get a good fit for your company, because you can train these ladies and gentlemen.”
Scott Trice served in the Marines for six years, received his MBA after serving and even owned his own business before the recession hit back in 2008.
He says that even with his skillset he got discouraged while looking for work.
“I'm out trying to defend my country and I come back and people would say thank you for your service, but no one would give me a job,” says Scott Trice, local veteran service representative.
Now he also works for the Workforce Center, helping vets by meeting with businesses to talk about hiring veterans in the future.
“These veterans come with discipline, they come with leadership skills, they come with knowhow and all we need is the opportunity and we can show you what we can do.”
Trice and Barnes have two job fairs coming up. The first is on September 5th from 10-11AM at the Workforce Center, 2211 Hydraulic Road, Room 1.
Veterans will be able to meet with employers at Boar’s Head Inn.
On October 15th there will be a larger job fair from 10am to 3pm at the American Legion Hall Post 74, located at 3025 Louisa Rd, Keswick.
The event will feature employers from places like Lowe’s, Walmart, Home Depot and UVa.
Veterans are asked to pre-register for both events either at the Workforce Center or with Mike Barnes, Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.