Each year, when we observe Veterans Day on November 11, we are not only celebrating America’s veterans for their patriotism, but we are also honoring them for the sacrifices they have made for our freedom. Today and every day, our team at Friday Services expresses gratitude for all the brave men and women who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. On this Veterans Day, we reflect on the many heroes in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard who have given us all so much through their service.
Our Commitment to Job Placement for Veterans
Unemployment is just one of many challenges facing veterans when they return to civilian life. At Friday Services, we are dedicated to helping veterans find jobs and have helped more than 600 veterans find employment in Western North Carolina. Check out our detailed guide on simple and specific resume advice for veterans, which includes a military skills translator that converts the language you used during your service into terms a civilian employer can better understand.
This Veterans Day, we wanted to round up a list of several local organizations that are also committed to helping veterans. Many of these organizations partner with one another to offer the most comprehensive knowledge and assistance. When we combine our efforts, there is no limit to what we can do.
Goodwill’s Operation GoodJobs
Jody Stevenson is Skills Training Manager at Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC and oversees the classes offered to the community at the Asheville center. He says, “We provide a wide range of services, but at the core is helping people find employment and get job ready. We have an open resource lab that people can use at any time on a walk-in basis called Career Connections. In Career Connections, we help people with job search, interviews, interview clothes, applications, and so on.”
In addition to referring veterans to Friday Services, Jody also posts Friday Services’s job openings in Career Connections. Veterans are encouraged to inquire about scholarships that help cover the cost of classes held at the center.
For the past couple years, Goodwill’s free program called Operation GoodJobs has assisted veterans and their families with not only employment, but also resources throughout Western North Carolina. Matthew Davis is Employment Specialist for Operation GoodJobs. Matt works with organizations, such as the VA, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM), NC Works, and State VocRehab, among others.
“When you get out of the military you lose your purpose and identity,” he says. “This can be a traumatic event and will often lead to isolation and depression. Finding that purpose again takes time.”
When enrolling a veteran, he considers:
- Career assessment
- Individualized career plans
- Job training and credentialing
- Financial education
- Job placement and career advancement services
- Transitional services
- Family support services
- Connections to healthy food and nutrition services
- Assistance with early education and child care
Walk-ins are welcome and interested veterans are encouraged to contact Matt for more information by calling 828.298.9023 x1144 or emailing [email protected]
Lack of housing can be a huge obstacle to employment for veterans. Susan Garrett is the Transitional Employment Program Manager with ABCCM in Asheville. Every day, she works with veterans from her office located on the campus of the Veterans Restoration Quarters. “I help men and women living in ABCCM’s transitional housing who are ready to re-enter the workforce identify a living-wage career path that excites them, to get the short-term training they need to follow that career path, and then help them find a permanent job in the community.”
As part of program enrollment, Susan offers career assessments and helps veterans map out their career and self-sufficiency goals. “For homeless male and female veterans, ABCCM offers transitional housing, training, an extensive curriculum of free life skills courses taught on campus, employment assistance, case management, assistance with finding permanent housing, paying rent, transportation, accessing health care, disability claims, and legal needs. For female veterans at Steadfast House, we also offer enriching childcare. For those participating in the Transitional Employment Program, we also offer them jobs to get them jump started into a good career.”
Friday Services has proudly helped 34 residents of Veterans Quarters find jobs. ABCCM’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) not only covers the finances of short-term training and job assistance for homeless veterans, but also provides support and encouragement. Susan shares, “I think collaboration within ABCCM’s ministries, with our volunteers, with other agencies and with employers to bring the veterans all the resources they need to gain self-sufficiency is what has made our HVRP program so successful.”
Under the NC Department of Commerce, NCWorks is a program of the NC Division of Workforce Solutions, which is responsible for referring people to jobs and helping them find suitable training to become work-ready. Ken Ray is the Local Veterans Employment Representative. Within Buncombe, Madison, Transylvania, and Henderson counties, he encourages employers to list open jobs with NCWorks and to hire qualified veterans.
From workshops to one-on-one appointments, NCWorks Career Centers offer support for people seeking employment. Western North Carolina Centers are located at 48 Grove Street in Asheville, Blue Ridge Community College Flat Rock and Brevard, and A-B Tech in Marshall.
There are several ways to interact with NCWorks. You can register online, by phone, or in person at one of the locations. Veterans receive priority for service and will be served first as a walk in. That is, they will be served ahead of civilian walk-ins. It is advantageous for a veteran seeking employment to have as much information as possible in the NCWorks system. During the first 24 hours that a job is posted, the system will only locate veterans who posses the required skills. Veterans who are good matches will be contacted. After 24 hours, the job will become open to everyone.
November 7–9, NCWorks will host its annual Employ a Veteran event at its Asheville location from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Employers and veteran support organizations are welcome to use the office space to conduct interviews and/or workshops. While this event is geared toward veterans, all job seekers are encouraged to attend.
Upcoming workshops include:
Thursday, November 3, at 10 a.m.—Write a Winning Resume Part 1
Thursday, November 10, at 10 a.m.—Write a Winning Resume Part 2
Wednesday, November 16, at 10 a.m.—Identifying Career Interests
Tuesday, November 29, at 9 a.m.—WorkKeys – CRC
All workshops take place at the Asheville location, 48 Grove Street. For more information, including sign-up and cancellation, call 828.251.6200 or stop by the office. Participants should allow 3 hours for each workshop and 4 hours for WorkKeys assessments.
We’d Love to Hear From You
This Veterans Day, our team at Friday Services would love to help you find a new job. Check out our open jobs and apply today! Contact us with any questions. We hope you and your family have a wonderful Veterans Day!