11-06-2010 01:48 PM CET - Politics, Law & Society


Press release from: Carl Terzian Associates
PR Agency: Carl Terzian Associates

Los Angeles, CA – November 4, 2010 - On Veterans Day, November 11, the nation celebrates the brave men and women who serve in our military. But what happens when they return home, especially those veterans recently discharched from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan? For many veterans, making the transition back to civilian life is hard, and finding a new job in today’s challenging labor market is even harder. That’s why JVS Los Angeles developed Veterans First, which offers free career coaching, assessments to help identify transferable skills, job placement and even a Veterans Job Club support group.

Funded by the Veterans’ Employment-Related Assistance Program, an initiative from the Governor’s office along with the Employment Development Department, the program began in July, 2010. As of November 1, 60 veteran clients have been registered, with the numbers increasing daily.

According to Veterans First Program Manager Travis McElroy, a former Captain in the U.S. Air Force, “We appreciate and are honored to serve all veterans and we expect to see more veterans from Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. We are dedicated to helping these recently-released veterans overcome unique challenges in a difficult economic environment. Our motto is ‘The Next Generation of Veterans for the Next Generation of Jobs.’ In addition to helping them find new jobs, we also have a wellness component to address their basic needs as they transition to the civilian world.”

The primary focus of the program is to identify a career path. Many veterans are choosing careers in the business world, such as in sales and finance, management, engineering and security training, where they can easily transfer their military skills. JVS also offers vocational training in specific fields like finance and health care. Several veterans have already taken advantage of the acclaimed JVS BankWorks™ training.

Added McElroy, “For many veterans, the military life is all they’ve known. They may have enlisted straight out of high school and are facing the job market for the first time. Because we are veterans ourselves, we can relate and speak their language to guide them through their civilian job search.”

Another groundbreaking aspect of Veterans First is the use of new technologies to help connect Veterans with each other, including the use of Google groups for communication and networking and Skype for interviews with out of state employers. Veterans First also helps returning veterans navigate the benefit eligibility process and can assist in upgrading their discharge or disability status.

McElroy’s team includes Joel Canfield, a First Lieutenant in the Army Reserves and Jose De La Cruz, former Air Force Master Sergeant with a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling. A critical and unique component of the team is Kristen Clayville who earned her Masters Degree in Social Work from USC’s newly-created Military Social Work and Veterans Service Program.

Offered at JVS’ Marina Del Rey, West Hollywood and Antelope Valley WorkSource Centers, Veterans First also partners with the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles Community Development Department and the Workforce Investment Board.

About JVS
For nearly 80 years, JVS has enhanced hundreds of thousands of lives with vital employment and career services. Each year, JVS helps nearly 30,000 people from over 30 sites around the Southland. A non-profit, non-sectarian organization, JVS works with city, state and county agencies to ensure everyone has access to the help they need, including long term unemployed, at-risk students, and people with disabilities. For more information on the full range of JVS programs, please visit www.jvsla.org. You can also find JVS on Facebook at JVS Los Angeles or follow us on twitter @JVSlosangeles.

Contact: Jim Goyjer (310) 207-3361

12400 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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