Many veterans of military service are "volunteers who put you and me before a bullet and come home unable to get a job," Larry Trabucco told members of the Signal Mountain Lions Club at their recent meeting. Mr. Trabucco and his friends saw a need and have started an organization, VetForce1, to try to provide help.
Too many veterans find it necessary to continue fighting beyond the battlefield for a job, he said.
They are competing for jobs without a network of business contacts or a resume that translates easily to the civilian workforce. They don't fully understand how to engage employers during the job search. They lack competent mentors and positive peer support.
VetForc1 was created to assist veterans to successfully transition from military service to civilian life through programs, services and support that address the fundamental need for meaningful employment and that link veterans and their family members to existing community and social services that provide legitimate opportunities to enhance the quality of their lives.
Employers have a specific set of concerns that must be addressed with every hiring decision. "At VetForce1 we focus on building relationships with employers, understanding their company culture and addressing their unique needs. Our goal is to decrease the costs associated with locating and screening qualified candidate with military experience and increasing the rate of hiring highly qualified veteran candidates."
Part of the program is to connect veterans with mentors from participating companies who have been successful in their careers and provide peer-supporting programs that cultivate relationships with other veterans who have made it through the maze of reentry.
Company 52 -- 52 companies who join the program -- is the heart and soul of VetForce1. Its members are also the organization's public face, leading the community by example. The program includes hosting a weekly program (52 companies for 52 weeks)for VF1 participants about their company and the personal lessons they have learned running it.
VedtForce1 is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations to support the mission are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. For more information or to make a donation, contact VetForce1 at 633 Chestnut St., Suite 600, Chattanooga, 529-3010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.