Resources to Help Veterans and Military Spouses Transition to Civilian Life
Last week, Americans spent Thursday, November 11 honoring all men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces on Veteran’s Day 2021. Considering this, it’s crucial that veterans are connected to the various employment services and tools offered. Whether just transitioning from the military or looking for something new, veterans have many tools at their fingertips.
Here is a roundup of tools and services that veterans can take advantage of to make their transition to civilian life easier.
O*NET & My Next Move
An excellent online tool is O*NET OnLine and My Next Move Website. Once here, a veteran can search for careers in a field they want to work in, search by browsing career fields out there, read about each one, or look for a job in the area they worked in while serving in uniform. While searching a former military career field, a veteran can select their branch, then select the MOS (military occupational specialty) and match it to civilian occupations that are the same or similar.
If a veteran is still unsure, lower down on the page is an interest profiler. The profiler is a survey in which a veteran can answer a series of questions and offers career ideas that match with their interests. There could be career choices or occupations available that the veteran didn’t even know existed. Once the career profiler is complete, a veteran can go back to the My Next Move home page and browse careers again.
Michigan Works! Southwest Veteran Services
Michigan Works! Southwest is proud to serve veterans and their spouses with specialized help and employment services.
There are two Veteran Career Advisors on staff in Calhoun and Kalamazoo County that provide personalized counseling designed to help veterans and their spouses find a job. These advisors are experts in career counseling for veterans transitioning to civilian life. From career counseling to skill translation, they will work with veterans one on one to help them meet their goals. Advisors can help with the following:
- Review and improve resumes
- Fine tune interviewing skills
- Learn to leverage social networking
- Access other services and providers
Not to mention, Michigan Works! Southwest complies with the Jobs for Veterans Act by giving veterans and their eligible spouses priority of service status for all programs.
“Michigan Works! Southwest is committed to assisting you during your transition from the military into a civilian career. We stand committed and ready to help serve you,” said Jennifer Klempnow, Special Initiatives Manager at Michigan Works! Southwest, Southwest Michigan Veteran Community Action Team President and Military spouse.
CareerOneStop’s Veteran and Military Transition Center veteran website can help veterans:
- Assess job skills and see how they apply to civilian jobs
- Learn about education and training options (including certifications, apprenticeships and licensing)
- Build up job-search skills
- Identify government benefits including unemployment compensation for ex-service members
The VA.gov’s Careers and Employment section connects veterans to resources and information to:
- Find work as a veteran with a “service-connected disability”
- Get educational and career counseling
- Find Department of Labor resources for veterans and their spouses
Veterans.gov from the from the U.S. Department of Labor connects veterans to information on:
- Federal government hiring for veterans
- Careers within the departments of Agriculture, Energy, Transportation, and Homeland Security
- Employment resources by state
- Interstate occupational license recognition options for military spouses
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program helps active duty and veterans whose service-connected disability impacts their ability to work. It can help veterans with:
- Job accommodations
- Finding new work, returning to an old job or starting a new business
- Job seeking skills coaching and career counseling
- Independent living services for veterans with severe disabilities
- Access to VES VCA and LVER services
There are many other resources available for veterans transitioning back to civilian life, including opportunities to find similar work to their military career, or training to change their career path completely! Check out our resources page to learn how Michigan Works! Southwest can help veterans find local opportunities to connect with employers looking to hire skilled workers.