Help­ing vets

Ja­son Coady help­ing for­mer sol­diers with tech­no­log­i­cal and en­gi­neer­ing ex­pe­ri­ence find work

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANETTE DOOLEY SPE­CIAL TO THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE danette@nl.rogers.com

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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