United Way Helping to Land Veterans Jobs

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 1:47pm

They've worked overseas to protect our country and now that they're back they need work here in the valley.

United Way of Southern Cameron County and other community partners are working to help veteran men and women transitioning back into civilian life, land good jobs.
Twenty-seven year old Joseph Campbell, who is an Iraqi war veteran, served six years in the Army National Guard as a Calvary Scout.

He spent his time driving trucks transporting supplies.

Now that he's back home, he spends a lot of his time on the computer looking for a job.

He's been back for two years now and hasn't landed exactly what he wants or needs financially.

"It's come to the point where I just want to have a job, to be stable, have job security and provide for my family," says Iraqi war veteran, Joseph Campbell.

Campbell's luck might soon be changing though. The husband and father of two is taking advantage of a brand new program United Way is offering that helps find vets of all ages, stable employment here in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

"These veterans have given so much. They've endured so much hardship for us and for the country. To me it only seems right that they be given the opportunity to be successful in the community. And once again, they have taken care of us and I think that we have a social responsibility, a moral responsibility to assist them in reintegrating back into the community," says United Way Veterans Coalition Coordinator, Billy Hollis.

United Way has been awarded a 100-thousand dollar grant that goes towards paid apprenticeships, job fairs, and networking sessions, as well as other things like peer-to-peer counseling, resume building and interview prepping.

Hollis says that with the war winding down, it's expected that 40-thousand soldiers will be returning to Texas; a large number of those coming back to the RGV in search of a job.

Some of the career connections United Way has made involve jobs in everything from manufacturing to construction, jobs in the medical field, finance and even transportation.

While some of these vets may not have the technical skills required, almost all of them have the soft skills just about every employer is looking for. .

"My leadership abilities, the dependability, time management, stuff like that," says Campbell.

All qualities he says he's taken with him from the army.

"There are a lot of people that support our troops but for them to go the extra mile, to actually help us find employment, find stability, I just want to say thank you," says Campbell.

Since coming to United Way and working with Hollis, Campbell says he's more hopeful and confident in landing a permanent job that will sufficiently provide for his family.

"For more information on veterans’ job search assistance you can contact Veterans Coalition Coordinator Billy Hollis at 956-548-6880.

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