Military veterans make great sacrifices in the service of their country, and they deserve the utmost respect. Over 200,000 veterans return to the United States each year, and the transition back to civilian life often isn’t easy. One of the biggest challenges facing vets is returning to the workforce. The job market is as competitive as it’s ever been, and it doesn’t take it easy on anyone.
Returning veterans may be overwhelmed when trying to translate their skills and job experience in civilian terms, and many young men and women join the military right out of high school, so they may have no job experience outside the service. Even so, vets have plenty of transferable skills including strong knowledge of leadership fundamentals — like risk assessment and working with others — not to mention all the skills they learn in their specific branches. Here are some of the best resources for returning military personnel looking for career opportunities.
Job Accommodation Network
The JAN is a service provided by the Department of Labor intended to provide accommodations to workers with disabilities and their families, and it’s one of the most important resources for vets who have suffered physical or psychological injuries during their military service. Consultants provide information for living with, and how employers can accommodate, all kinds of injuries including back injuries, burns, hearing loss, and amputations. They also provide information for service members suffering from mental health issues like PTSD. Of course, there are ways to help with this beyond job accommodations, and teletherapy has been found to be as effective as in-person sessions so long as it’s conducted at a qualified health center.
The vast majority of vets intend to start a second career path after completing their service, and veterans are uniquely prepared to operate their own business compared to many civilians. During their service, veterans develop leadership skills, strong discipline, and an excellent work ethic that make them great candidates for franchise companies. The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative offered by VetFran seeks to connect VetFran members to franchisee opportunities with the top franchises. They also encourage franchisors to offer discounts and incentives to help veteran franchisees achieve their career goals.
The UPS Store is considered one of the best franchises for veterans, and the first 10 qualified veterans applying before November 11, 2020 can have their franchise fee waived.
Sometimes veterans may want to choose career paths that require further education, and like many college applicants, service members may be overwhelmed at the sheer number of schools to choose from. It’s a good idea to look into local schools that provide benefits specifically for veterans. For example, vets interested in the medical field can receive career focused medical training in Cherry Hill, NJ from Prism Career Institute. They also serve Egg Harbor Township, NJ and Philadelphia, PA.
Prism Career Institute helps veterans by providing financial aid for medical assistant and practical nursing programs, and they can submit a financial aid application along with their college application. To continue receiving financial aid, they must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher and complete their training program in the approved number of hours.
Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS)
VETS provides employment resources for veterans and their spouses to protect their employment rights and find satisfying careers. Programs for different job types have different requirements, but it’s easy for veterans to check their qualifications by entering previous work experience and their military status. They also offer a Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program, which is the only federal grant of its kind.
There’s no denying that returning veterans can face a host of unique challenges when returning to the workforce, but knowing when to seek help can make a tremendous difference.