WorkSource holds Marysville event to help vets
November 4, 2011 · 8:37 AM
They served unselfishly, and now thousands of local veterans are looking for work in a civilian world wracked by the worst economy since the Great Depression. But WorkSource is their new weapon for hope.
Crystal Masters is celebrating her new job this Veterans Day, thanks to the free help she got at WorkSource. A nine-year veteran of the Navy, Crystal had the management skills sought by government agencies, but couldn't get a foot in the door. With assistance from the WorkSource employment system, she learned how to navigate the federal hiring maze and is now on the budget team at the U.S. Department of Energy.
"The classes, workshops and networking events at Tri-Cities WorkSource opened many opportunities," said Masters. "People were there to help veterans and cared about my success."
Working with every military base across the state, WorkSource helped more than 14,000 veterans get civilian jobs last year. Besides special job fairs, there were boot camps on job-search techniques and classes on how to translate military skills into those needed for civilian jobs in aviation, high tech and more – and not just for the newly discharged.
Ralph Luna, who is a Viet Nam-era vet and retired information-technology specialist, was forced to look for work when the recession decimated his retirement fund. Faced with competition from younger applicants, WorkSource coached him to have the confidence to ace an interview and get hired by an information-services firm.
"Without WorkSource, I would have stopped looking," said Luna.
Governor Chris Gregoire has declared November "Hire a Vet Month," and WorkSource has many events to connect veterans to employers who seek their unique blend of skills, teamwork and experience. Special job fairs and coaching sessions kicked off the month in Spokane and Centralia. Others are planned around the state, including a Nov. 8 events at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Marysville, for Snohomish and King county veterans.
The entire calendar of job fairs can be found on www.go2worksource.com – click on "Job fair calendar." Contact information for local WorkSource centers also is listed on the site.
Businesses eager to hire veterans can call toll-free 877-453-5906 to link up with job-ready vets.