Golden Crescent Veterans Job Club hosts first meeting Wednesday
By ADVOCATE STAFF REPORT
Aug. 2, 2010 at 3:02 a.m.
Help is on its way for local veterans looking for work.
The Golden Crescent Veterans Job Club hosts its first meeting Wednesday at Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent.
The club, sponsored by the workforce center, is geared toward providing veterans a support system and helping them re-enter the workforce, said Valerie Romans, the center's veterans resource and referral specialist.
Olga Chapa, a business professor with the University of Houston-Victoria and veteran, will speak at the Wednesday meeting on such topics as resume writing, interviewing skills and the like, Romans said.
Club meetings also offer a chance for veterans to network among one another, she said, explaining that it can be equally helpful when trying to secure a job.
"A certain percentage of jobs are listed with us, but not all of them," Romans said, explaining other club members can pass on prospects through word of mouth. "We want to help them in whatever way we can."
Romans is an Army veteran who served in Iraq during 2003 and 2004. Although she found work soon after returning from overseas, she said it isn't always easy.
There are limited job postings, she said, and veterans compete against other citizens for available positions, she explained. Veterans must also learn how to take the training they've undergone with the military and apply it to the job field.
"You might have someone who worked in the aviation field and there aren't many helicopters here," she said.
The good news is many veterans are highly trainable, boast strong leadership skills, discipline and work ethics, she said.
Employers are also invited to the event, Romans said.
Incentives such as tax credits and training grants are often available to those who hire veterans, she explained, and representatives will be available to answer questions.
Romans said she expected between 10 and 20 people to attend the first meeting but said it's impossible to know for sure.
The point is there's a need for such services, she said, and the group hopes to help as many people as possible.
"We've got to get the word out there," Romans said. "That's what we get paid for. To find veterans jobs."