Honoring Veterans: Local organizations help veterans transition from service to the workforce
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- After veterans come home from service, they need to transition into the civilian workforce, but that may not be easy. However, there are organizations that can help.
"Early in their transition, making a plan, seeing what they want to be when they grow up," said Phil Trezza, the director of the Virginia Values Veterans program and a veteran himself. "I think it was difficult but I think it was difficult for most people."
Virginia Values Veterans, or V3, is one program that helps. And the Virginia Employment Commission can also offer assistance.
"We help veterans find employment,” said Jacqueline Washington, a veteran employment representative with the Virginia Employment Commission.
Washington, another veteran, helps veterans find sustainable jobs and careers but echoes what Trezza says.
"The hardest thing for them is understanding the civilian mindset. They have to change from 'yes sir, yes ma'am' to 'hey Bob, hey Jane,'" she said.
With the help of the services offered, veterans are able to change and get accustomed to their new everyday working life. Washington says she's had success helping those in Central Virginia.
"I love my veterans. I give them the understanding that we are in this together. It’s their plan never my plan," said Washington.
By being straightforward and real while also being supportive, the VEC and V3 programs prepare veterans through workshops, job fairs, negotiation classes and even wardrobe changes.
"We get them new suits, because you know, some of them, they just didn't need it," said Washington.
"There is a lot of opportunity out there to transition well," said Trezza.
Washington and Trezza both say on behalf of their programs they want the best resources available for local veterans to make transitioning into the workforce easy and successful.