Orland Park Veterans Commission Co-hosts Free Veterans Employment Seminar August 14-18

Orland Park Veterans Commission Co-hosts Free Veterans Employment Seminar August 14-18
Posted on 07/18/2017

All area veterans are invited to attend a free, five-day employment transition seminar August 14 to 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Village of Orland Park Cultural Center, 14760 Park Lane.

Co-sponsored by the Village of Orland Park and Operation: Job Ready Veterans, the five-day seminar is open to veterans who received any discharge other than dishonorable, members of the National Guard or Reserve, spouses of veterans, Active Duty, National Guard or Reserve spouses, military caregivers, and dependent children of working age.

"The goal is to provide veterans the tools they need to get long-term and meaningful employment," said Mayor Keith Pekau. "Veterans will learn to write their resume and gain valuable interview skills."

The free seminar includes transition assistance, resume preparation, company research, networking and interviewing skills, and employer introductions. Those who complete the five-day seminar will attend a mini graduation ceremony and hiring fair.

"I have first-hand knowledge about the challenges of transitioning out of the military. Seminars like this are extremely beneficial to veterans and their families as they prepare for life after the military. We all know veterans and their families have a lot to offer the work force so it's critical to assist them in making this transition" Pekau said.

The seminar is run by Operation: Job Ready Veterans, a nonprofit based in Indianapolis dedicated to preparing service members, veterans, military spouses, dependent and caregivers for entry into the workforce.

"Many veterans are struggling with the transition from military to civilian life. We spend the first day honing in on what their transitional issues are," said Suzanne Tansel, Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator for Operation: Job Ready Veterans. "Most veterans aren't aware, so we do a lot of self-reflection and address possible issues."

The seminar includes resume writing, which focuses on translating what veterans did in the service into civilian speak, and re-wording resumes to meet job market standards. Veterans are welcome to bring their resumes, but are not required to have one as they will create one during the seminar.

"We spend a lot of time on passions, and what veterans want to do with their life," Tansel explained. "We try to get veterans to think more broadly about what they want to do. Just because you were something in the military, doesn't mean you have to be that in the civilian world."

Veterans will also learn how to network, interview, and give a 30-second elevator speech on themselves. Tansel noted that many veterans are used to speaking about their service from a group perspective and will not talk about themselves. Veterans will be asked to prepare and rehearse their speech so that they become comfortable talking about themselves and what they can offer a company.

"It really is a great week. It's interesting to watch the relationships form between the teammates. It's a great thing," said Tansel, who also graduated from the program. "I can't speak more highly of the process. We're so excited to be in Orland Park."

The program has seen 83 percent of graduates get hired within a month of the class and 90 percent retain their jobs. Tansel said it is not uncommon for veterans interviewing at Friday's mini job fair to get an offer to come in for an interview or to get a job offer immediately following the graduation.

"We're also hoping that veterans will join the VFW or the American Legion and become more involved in the community," said Orland Park Veterans Program Assistant Tom Dubelbeis. "Veterans have a lot to contribute - they're very focused and mission-oriented."

Veterans interested in the free, five-day seminar need to register by noon on Friday, August 11.

Register online at www.jobreadyvets.org, (312) 636-9777 or (855) 456-2732 or email BFitch@jobreadyvets.org.