WorkForce West Virginia announces employment workshops are now available for Veterans, National Guard members, Reservists

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WorkForce West Virginia announces employment workshops are now available for Veterans, National Guard members, Reservists

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  – Current and former armed forces members and their spouses can register for a three-day employment workshop to help them find a new career. 

The comprehensive workshop, called the Off Base Transition Training (OBTT), will cover topics including finding employment, translating military skills to work skills, answering tough interview questions, navigating the web and effectively using social media in job searches.  The next workshop will be held Dec. 10, 11 and 12 at the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center in Bridgeport, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day.

John Smith of Harrisville recently attended the OBTT in Parkersburg. He is planning to retire from the military in May, and is now confident that he will be able to transition to the civilian workforce.

“The workshop takes a lot of the fear out of searching for a job and interviewing,” he said. “It’s well worth the time. There’s more to finding a job than you think. I thought I knew more about the process than I did.”

Terry Hupp of Williamstown also attended the workshop in Parkersburg.

"I've been in the military 42 years, so I've never had to do a resume. Now I know how to do one the right way," he said. "Looking for a job isn't what it used to be. I learned the best places to go online to search for jobs. The workshop also helped me figure out which jobs will be compatible with the skills I learned in the military. For some people, military experience can count as college credit hours and the workshop can help determine that."

West Virginia is one of only three states participating in this pilot program. The OBTT is a partnership among the Adjutant General of the National Guard, Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS), WorkForce West Virginia, Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) and the WV Military Connection. The goal is to provide employment and training information to armed forces members and their eligible spouses no matter when their separation or exit from the military.

Professionally-trained facilitators present the workshops. In addition to interviewing techniques, attendees will also learn about current occupational and labor market conditions and how to prepare resumes and cover letters. Participants are also provided with an evaluation of their employability relative to the job market and receive information about the most current veterans’ benefits.

Participants receive valuable training and information that gives them an edge over other applicants. It’s estimated that service members who participate in transition assistance programs, on average, find their first post-military job three weeks sooner than those who do not.

To register for the workshop in Bridgeport, call 1-800-252-5627. Additional workshops are planned for Jan. 28, 2014 in Red House, W.Va. and Feb. 5, 2014 in Martinsburg, W.Va. More are anticipated at a minimum of one every other month throughout the next year.

More information about the workshops and more services to help veterans transition into civilian life is online at www.wvmilitaryconnection.org.