Free job fair on Wednesday helps vets return to civilian work after service
When men and women leave the service and look for work in the civilian world, military job titles and descriptions can be difficult to translate into civilian terms.
That is when resources such as American Job Centers, established by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, can help, according to Paul Furbush, regional veterans’ employment coordinator for the U.S. Department of Labor.
Furbush works for a DOL program called the Veterans Employment and Training Service, which helps transitioning veterans find jobs, provides employment resources and protects the re-employment rights of service members, National Guard and reservists returning from active duty.
VETS is one of a handful of programs holding a free job fair for veterans, active duty military members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses at Mohegan Sun on Veterans Day. Furbush said more than 70 employers have registered so far.
The centers, set up nationwide and funded by the labor department, allow veterans to talk with a staff member about the skills, abilities and attributes they developed during their military service, said Furbush, a veteran himself.
“For example, someone that may have been an electronics technician on the submarine base in Groton may have filled many collateral roles as a career counselor, an education service officer — those are all skills that they have learned and they might want to use in the civilian world,” he said. “They might not want to go into electronics anymore.”
An employee at the job center can meet with a veteran one-on-one, Furbush said, “and we can get that determined and help them get the training or fill the gaps that might exist.”
There are 14 full service job centers and five hubs in Connecticut. More than 4,000 veterans — 11 percent female and 89 percent male — have registered in the American Job Centers in the state, according to federal data.
In 2014, of those veterans who were registered in the centers in Connecticut, 52 percent became employed, Furbush said, an increase of 10 percent from 42 percent in 2013.