From job listings to resume training, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes has community partners at the state and local levels. These partners provide a great number of day-to-day support services to our military community members. Often, the services these state and local programs offer are as unique as the communities they serve.
The Texas Workforce Commission estimates that there are 1.7 million veterans living in Texas and 967,000 veterans are working or actively seeking work.
The Texas Veterans Leadership Program is a Texas Workforce Commission resource and referral network connecting returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan with the resources and tools they need to lead productive lives and enjoy the full benefits of the society they have willingly served.
Each one of its 28 workforce development areas is assigned a Veterans Resource and Referral Specialist. All of these specialists are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Listen in as Texas Veterans Leadership Program Regional Manager Charles Connor and Veteran Resource Coordinator Clay Dyess explain the resources offered through the Texas Workforce Commission and how their state program can be replicated by other states looking to attract and retain military talent.
Top Takeaways from “We Can’t Just Keep Handing People Lists”
1. Veterans Resource and Referral Specialists work closely with transitioning service members.
“A lot of times, unfortunately, they are told ‘here’s your list, have a happy life.’ We will build a list for someone, but we will also walk them through the process. We work with that veteran to find out what their specific needs are and help they get that assistance, even if it’s not in Texas.” – Charles Connor, Regional Manager with the Texas Veterans Leadership Program
2. The Veterans Resource and Referral Specialists understand the frustrations of military transition.
“Sometimes, it (your job search) does indeed take time and that’s not to say it’s a reflection on you and your skill set and effort.” – Clay Dyess, Veteran Resource Coordinator with the Texas Veterans Leadership Program
3. The Texas Veterans Leadership Program’s mission is not limited to veteran employment.
“If you’re having trouble paying your light bill, your wife’s having trouble finding a job, or you really need to get in and talk to somebody about the things that you’re remembering from your time in (Iraq and Afghanistan), we can get you in contact with someone to help you as soon as possible.” – Clay Dyess, Veteran Resource Coordinator with the Texas Veterans Leadership Program
4. The Texas Veterans Leadership Program also helps military spouses.
“It’s a natural fit. When we’re helping the spouse, we’re also helping that veteran.” – Charles Connor, Regional Manager with the Texas Veterans Leadership Program
5. Besides connecting veterans with employment, the Texas Veterans Leadership Program also educates businesses on why veterans make great employees.
“Veterans learn quickly in a crisis situation.”– Clay Dyess, Veteran Resource Coordinator with the Texas Veterans Leadership Program