Local Veteran Helping Others Find Their Next Job

By: Michael Oder Email
By: Michael Oder Email

BRYAN For veterans coming home, the next chapter of their lives are just starting. Some will go back to school, but many others will go back to work. With nearly one million unemployed veterans in the US, finding work can be difficult.

Those veterans that get back into the workforce are finding a second sense of pride.

"We focus on vets here. It's an obligation we feel we have," says Tom Wilkinson, executive director of the Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley.

Wilkinson and his team work every day on getting people back to work. Including the 1,100 veterans that are looking for employment in the last 12 months.

"We found jobs for almost 800 of them," says Wilkinson.

As more service men and women are discharged, the number of veterans looking for jobs will rise. Wilkinson says changes are coming to help veterans relate their skills to the private sector.

"The government has commissioned a way to take the skill sets that they do in the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marines, and translate that into a resume building for men and women as they are exiting the military or armed services," he explains.

You don't have to go far to see the proof of their hiring success. Across the building at the Workforce Solution, Melissa LeCounte is settling in to her new job.

"Oh, it's great!" she says.

As a career coach, Melissa is helping others find work. A veteran of the Marine Corps, she knows first hand that feeling veterans can have once they leave the service.

"The first thing that you do is sort of re-acclimate yourself to society," she says. That's not always easy, she explains, especilly if you're used to a certain way of doing things.

Melissa worked as a paralegal, then went into law enforcement. Now in Texas, with her husband, she's working to give back.

"The people, when I was coming here as a patron, they were great to me. I feel what they feel everyday. By giving themselves to someone and helping them out in a situation. It's great!" she shares.

Melissa has only been on the job about a month, but she says she feels right at home. As for what brought her family to Texas? Her husband is pursuing a degree at Texas A&M.

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