Our November Spotlight! is shining brightly on our nation’s heroes whose valor we celebrated on Veterans Day, the holiday that honors the millions of U.S. military personnel who served in wars and major conflicts, since WWI. No doubt there were much-deserved award ceremonies, parades, testimonial dinners, and other special events held across the nation to honor them.
However, in KRA Corporation program across the country, every day is Veterans Day, because unemployment rates for Veterans have not declined nearly enough, especially for Veterans, 18-to-24.
It is a blessed Veteran who does not return to civilian life without some level of emotional, mental, and/or physical challenge—including homelessness—presenting additional barriers to employment. And, and even though well-trained in various job-skill areas, service-men and -women rarely gain certified or credentialed industry-recognition while serving in the military.
We are addressing these challenges with several Veteran-priority programs, with one resource in particular experiencing much success—Veterans Boot Camp (VBC), offered at the San Diego South Metro Career Center, part of the American Job Centers of California (AJCC) network and operated by KRA for the San Diego Workforce Partnership.
The VBC, a series of job-readiness “challenges”, organized by the Veterans Department, California Employment Development Department (VD/EDD), assists Veterans in assessing their abilities, aptitudes, and interests; developing Career Pathway Plans; honing skills in job-searching, résumé preparation, and interviewing, accessing WIA-funded job-training programs; and connecting directly to employment opportunities.
One successful VBC graduate, among many, is Luis Salvatierra, who was honorably discharged from the Navy on February 12th. Visiting the KRA/AJCC 2 days later, he met with the VD/EDD’s Virgilio Yalong to explore training opportunities in the IT field. On March 3rd, Luis attended a WIA Orientation, and began working with Stacy Lorkowski, KRA Career Agent.
Encouraged and guided by Yalong and Lorkowski, while still completing his VBC challenges, on April 15th, Luis began a CompTIA-credentialed program with New Horizons Computer Learning Center, which he completed on September 19th, with “Security+ A+ Network+” certifications. Just 2 short weeks later, Luis began work with Epsilon, Inc. as a fulltime Junior IT Specialist with a starting salary of more than $30,000.
All Veterans who are ready, willing, and able to work deserve a story similar to Luis’. So, on all the Veterans Days to come, KRA will continue to honor them for their past service, and throughout the rest of the year, continue to support them for their future in the workforce.