Veterans Helping Veterans Find Jobs

OhioMeansJobs Columbus-Franklin County Named Top Employment Center for Veterans

When Alicia Parrish medically retired from the Army, she had a resume, her military experience, and a desire to start a new chapter in her life. But making the transition to life outside of the military wasn’t easy.

“It was harder for me to transition out and be a civilian again than it was to become a soldier.” Parrish said. “When I got out of the Army, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.”

The Veterans Employment Network was created to help job seekers like Parrish to find the direction they need. Recently, the program was recognized when the OhioMeansJobs Columbus- Franklin County Job Center received the 2014 American Legion National Employment Local Office of the Year Award. The award honors a local employment center that provides exceptional service to veterans.

“The Veterans Employment Network Program is a testimony that this job center is a single place where employers can access a pool of qualified, job-ready veterans and where veterans can access a number of training programs and other services needed for employment and career development,” said Suzanne Coleman-Tolbert, chief executive officer and president of OhioMeansJobs Columbus-Franklin County.

“OhioMeansJobs Columbus-Franklin County is setting the standard for veteran employment services,” said Ryan Thompson, chief of ODJFS Veterans Workforce Services.

“One of the most difficult parts of a veteran transitioning is translating their military skills into civilian language. The Veteran Employment Network addresses that issue head-on.”

OhioMeansJobs Columbus-Franklin County Project Manager and veteran Mike Simpkins helped to create the program in 2013. Besides learning how to translate their military resumes into language that appeals to local employers, veterans also improve their interviewing skills, meet with local employers, and discuss the strategies and resources needed to transition to civilian employment. Nearly 200 central Ohio veterans have found work through the program, including Alicia Parrish.

“The Veterans Employment Network gave me hope,” Parrish said. “And now I am inspired to do the same for
other veterans.”

The VEN meets every Thursday at 1111 E. Broad Street.

For more information or to attend a meeting, contact:
Mike Simpkins at 614-559-5016 or [email protected].

Read more stories in our 2015 Spring Newsletter