Over the last year, JFCS Career Development Center has seen a growing need for employment support for veterans and military family members in our region. Our career counselors have established partnerships with local veteran employment services through the Pittsburgh Veterans Initiative Group (PVIG). This coalition, of service agencies and federal contractors, is dedicated to helping veterans and their families find meaningful employment by exploring their transferable skills developed in the military, and showcasing what they have to offer employers.
“We are working hard to make sure that veterans and their families know that CDC is available to them as a valuable resource. We serve so many individuals within the community and we are ready, willing, and able to work with veterans and their family members,” says Kaitlyn Myers-Brooks, CDC Career Counselor.
As part of the PVIG, JFCS Career Development Center recently helped to plan and participated in the Veterans and Armed Forces Career and Resource Fair on June 5. More than 125 veterans attended, with over 65 employers and service providers represented.
On June 11th, JFCS attended the Post Gazette’s Hiring Pittsburgh career fair. There we presented a workshop on “Speaking Civilian,” offering strategies for veterans to explain their military skillset in ways that will appeal to civilian employers.
JFCS also receives referrals for individual career counseling through a partnership with PAServes. This online resource offers service members, veterans, and their families’ access to resource navigators who connect each participant with relevant support resources. In just the last five months, we have offered individual career counseling to nearly 30 veterans through the partnership with PAServes and looking forward to serving more. We also collaborated with JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry to provide critical needs support to several veteran clients.
JFCS has also joined with other partners to create the Duquesne Initiative for Veteran Employment (DIVE) at Duquesne University. The group has successfully provided workshops for student veterans, and provided individual career and wellbeing counseling.
Finally, JFCS career counselors have provided workshops on motivation and the job search at the VA Healthcare Systems Heinz Campus.
“Veterans come with so many skills that allow them to be good leaders, committed employees, and diligent workers,” observes Myers-Brooks. “Pittsburgh needs more of them in the workforce. This is why we are working with Duquesne University to provide on-site career counseling to veteran students and graduates and working with the United Way and Squirrel Hill Community Food pantry to provide critical need support.”
JFCS Career Development Center will continue to look for new opportunities to serve those who have served our country. By offering support with transition to civilian life, career advancement resources, personal counseling and assistance to spouses and families, we want veterans and their families to know that their experience and dedication are needed in the American workforce.
If you need help getting your career on track, changing careers, or just upgrading your job search skills, call us at 412-422-5627. These programs are grant-funded through the United Way and other partners, so that most of our clients qualify for free or very low-cost services.