Jason Coady helping former soldiers with technological and engineering experience find work
Garnish native Jason Coady is using his business to assist former soldiers.
Having served his country for 14 years, Jason Coady of Garnish continues to give back – this time helping military members and veterans find jobs after they leave the Forces.
Coady graduated from Memorial University’s Marine Institute with an electronics engineering technician diploma, Saint Mary’s University with an engineering diploma and from Dalhousie University with an electrical engineering degree.
He retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in 2014 having served as both a naval electronics technician and a combat systems engineering officer.
Through his company MEE Consulting Inc., he now helps military veterans with technical and engineering experience find work.
Coady, who currently lives in Paradise, recently completed a seven-day business boot camp called Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE) offered by Prince’s Charities Canada in partnership with Memorial University.
POE was initially developed in 2008 as Based in Business by Enactus Memorial (a community of student, academic and business leaders).
The program sees Memorial University professors volunteer their time to help military members embark on their second careers to start their own businesses. Since 2012, over 200 businesses have been started by the 330 graduates of the POE boot camps.
According to a press release about the program, undergraduate students from Enactus Memorial is paired with participants and provide oneon-one guidance to begin crafting plans for their businesses.
As well, the release noted, strong community support comes from local entrepreneurs who share their experience at networking events, as well as organizations who sponsor meals.
“These military members will be ready to start their second careers,” said Lynn Morrissey, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Business Administration responsible for the genesis of the program, as well as managing training for the weeklong course.
Coady said the program provided him with great information both during the sessions and with information that participants can review once the program is finished.
Coady said those who serve with the military have a wealth of experience and transferable skills.
“Military veterans have a unique set of leadership skills that are often forgotten in key civilian roles. They take ownership and pride in their work, are extremely driven, motivated, organized, follow procedure and are fantastic leaders,” he said.
While veterans have the skills needed to hone successful careers outside the military, Coady said they don’t always know how to promote their qualifications and experience and often get turned away from jobs they were more than qualified for.
That’s where his company comes in, he said, working with companies to realize the value that veterans can bring to the workforce.
“The Forces is a full population in itself and most jobs that are in the workforce outside the military, we also have in the service. When they go from the Forces to retiring and starting to find jobs outside (the military), most jobs say they want two years (education) from a local college. Military personnel don’t have that but they may have 20 years (experience) doing the job,” he said.
Growing up in Garnish
Growing up in a small rural community was as a humbling experience, Coady said.
“There’s no difference in social standing which was great. It didn’t matter your schooling, your education, your trade. Your money situation didn’t matter. Everyone was friends with everyone else.”
Coady said he joined the military to serve his country. He loved his time in service, he said, and would still be there had it not been for a medical discharge.
“If the rules changed I would rejoin again today .... But because I can’t, this is the only way I can continue to serve,” he said of assisting others through his company.
Helping veterans make the transition from the military to civilian life feels fantastic, Coady said.
“You never want to see a person struggle, especially someone that has served their country… my company is not just localized to here. There’s a veteran everywhere in Canada. And if companies would like to hire on a veteran they can contact me,” he said.
Garnish native Jason Coady is helping veterans of the Canadian military with technological or engineering experience find full-time summer or contractual employment through his company, MEE Consulting Inc.