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Workshop series to help veterans enter civilian workforce

19 February 2013 No Comment


Veterans will learn how to best translate their military job skills for use in the civilian workforce through a series of workshops starting this month.

“Mission Career: A Workshop Series for Veterans” is co-sponsored by Shippensburg University’s Career Development Center, Penn State Mont Alto’s Career Services and the Student Veterans of America chapters at the two universities.

“A lot of veterans come back and they struggle with how to translate what they’ve done in the military to what they need for civilian careers,” said Patty Gochenauer, interim director of SU’s CDC.

Bob Smith, associate dean of Student Veteran Affairs at SU, said veterans face different challenges in marketing themselves to employers that typical college students usually do not. They often face stigmatization in the media, which means positively is key in communicating with potential employers.

“Veterans have a whole different set of circumstances when they go out on the job in workforce,” he said.

The workshop series consists of three topics to help veterans combat the challenges. They are:
- Resumes and transferable skills: Facilitator Jeffrey Hanks, manager of the Transition Assistance Program at Carlisle Army Barracks, will discuss how military experience can be translated to describe skills in a way that civilian employers understand. Lorie Davis, assistant director of University Relations at SU, will discuss how to prepare for and make the most of attending a job fair. Scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 27 in Room 100a of Anthony F. Ceddia Union Building, SU.

- “Using Your Military Skills to Become an Entrepreneur: An Introduction”: Members of the Small Business Development Center at SU, consulting manager Cheryl Young and director Michael Unruh will help aspiring entrepreneurs begin the process of successful business ownership including evaluating business ideas, developing a business plan, and exploring financing options. Attendees will learn lifestyle requirements involved in owning a business, how to assess the feasibility of their business idea, differences between business organization structures, how to develop a business plan, how to obtain financing, how to market their product or service, and the applications and licenses needed to start their company. Scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. March 28 in Room 122 of the Multipurpose Activities Center at Penn State Mont Alto.

- Interview skills and employer networking: A panel discussion with employers from a variety of industries will discuss major interviewing points. A networking reception will follow the one-hour panel session. Scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. April 15 at The Orchards, Chambersburg.

Partly funding the series is a grant from Pennsylvania National Association of Colleges and Employers, or PennACE.

Shortly before PennACE began releasing application information for the five grants it offers each year, members of SU’s Student Veterans of America approached the CDC about hosting a program to help veterans transition into civilian jobs, Gochenauer said.

“Everything fell into place,” she said.

To satisfy a stipulation of the grant, but more so to expand the series to student veterans there, SU brought on fellow PennACE member Penn State Mont Alto, Gochenauer said.

Interested veterans may sign up for individual workshops or the series. Registration is available at http://ship.edu/career/Mission_Career.
Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com and 262-4771.

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