This article was published in the City of Los Angeles 10,000 January 2016 newsletter
JVS Vets In Tech
As program coordinator for Vets in Tech, a new initiative from JVS’ Veterans First Program, Alicia Baker is familiar with the predicament that job-seeking veterans can face. For instance, a veteran may have received rigorous on-the-job training that led him or her to manage the network for his entire command post, “but if the military didn’t certify him and he didn’t go to school, how does he parlay this information technology experience into a good job in the civilian IT.
This quandary led JVS to launch Vets In Tech in the summer of 2015 - thanks to a generous grant from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) — to proactively address the marketability of veterans to meet current and future needs of the robust information technology computer science field. This groundbreaking program is among the first such veteran program that concentrates on the IT field. By working with local community colleges, specialized post secondary schools and employers, Vets In Tech assists qualified veterans in accessing training and obtaining industry certifications in the areas of web support, database administration, software and app development.
The program helps them write winning résumés, network with other vets, build professional confidence, and interface with professionals from hiring agencies. What’s exciting for Veterans First Program Manager Anthony Rodriguez is that IT is a growing industry that is accessible to veterans, pays well, and offers ongoing career opportunities. “We’ve already placed veterans who are making $50,000 to $80,000” salaries, he said, adding that too many vets are pushed into security guard and commercial driver positions. “The CETF grant also enables us to partner with other WIOA [Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act] programs to serve veterans across the region.
We are currently partnering with four to five other non JVS WorkSource Centers. By leveraging this private sector funding, we have been able to expand the reach of the In short, it builds bridges and provides support to veterans who lack the resources for critical training and access to employers. “Having performed network related tasks before going into management at my previous company, I began to look into IT training to prepare me for a new career path,” said Rashid Saboor. “I then found out that the VA benefits I had expected to be there had expired and the EDD training budget had been exhausted for that fiscal year. At that point, having worked briefly in security, I had become discouraged. Then I received an email from Alicia Baker informing me about the Vets In Tech program and inviting me to a meeting. All of the events, job postings, resume writing, support and the training advantage have been outstanding.”
The ultimate goal is to put the veterans in front of employers who are veteran-friendly, so Vets In Tech also provides job search and placement assistance. Baker says she currently has a range of participating veterans who could be hired into positions that range from help desk to network administrators and project managers. Thanks to the success in recruiting veterans for the program, Baker said her office is now focusing on finding veteran-friendly employers in Los Angeles County who can hire for full- or part-time positions as well as internships in the IT/computer science field. To that end, Veterans First will host a job fair in March at the JVS WorkSource Center in Marina del Rey and is currently seeking employers to participate. Interested companies can contact Alicia Baker at (310) 776-6245 or [email protected]
JVS Veterans First provides free resources to assist returning US Service members in readjusting to civilian life, including profes-sional career coaching, assessments to identify transferable skills, training in high growth industry sectors, and job placement assistance. To learn more, please visit www.jvsla.org.
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