Helping Vets Get Back to Work

<p>Bethany Cram</p>

Bethany Cram

<p>Alfred LeDuc</p>

Alfred LeDuc

As veterans return to civilian life, many of them have a tough time finding jobs.

The Columbia Basin WorkSource program is one organization helping veterans transition into the work world.

A six week program is helping to bring confidence and resources to vets like Bethany Cram and Alfred LeDuc, who are currently looking for work.

WorkSource offers classes to vets and their spouses, helping transition them from the military to the civilian world.

"It's been a while, and I'm a little bit nervous, but I think it'll be good," said Cram.

Cram was a chemical operations specialist in the Army National Guard for almost six years. Now, she's finishing up a BSC degree and looking to transition back into the work place, and going through a mock interview. "I think it's a good thing to do to prepare for a job. I haven't had an interview in a while and this is a good way for me to brush up on some interview skills."

LeDuc was in the US Marines for eight years, honorably discharged as a Staff Sgt lsat year. He recently settled in the Tri-Cities and says this is a terrific way to develop skills necessary for getting a job. "My confidence has skyrocketed after doing two of these [mock interviews]."

Nick Erickson heads up the veterans programs at Columbia Basin WorkSource. The program's success rate for finding veterans jobs is more than 80 percent. And he says Bethany is a perfect example of what can happen.  "She's very positive which is always helpful and she's putting in all the hard work and really taking all the recommendations we give her to heart. I think she'll be very successful."

Christine Devere works in HR Hanford contractor, Mission Support Alliance. She says sometimes it's simply the little things that need tweaking.

"They learn how to remain poised. It helps if they're nervous, we can give them you know... examples. If you have nervous twitches. So a lot of the feedback just strengthens them as a candidate.They can see how their military skills actually do transfer over and are very applicable to the position they're interviewing for," says Devere.

Cram says she's happy with what's she's getting back from the program. "They gave me some really good pointers about how to improve my resume, to present a more marketable appearance and I think that if I implement those changes, it'll be no time at all befofe I get a phone call and a job interview for real."

LeDuc says, "It gives you great tools and I think it definitely prepares you for the outside world. And it definitely equips you with what you need to succeed."

These programs are open to any veteran and their spouses as well, and they're free of cost.

Erickson says only about 20 percent of the space is filled in the programs.  All you have to do is give WorkSource a call.

More information: 509.734.5900