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Happy New Year – Community Leaders

Community Leaders

by Rob Brazell

I’d like to thank Steve Zimmermann and Howard Foster, my pilot and Mission Assistant on a recent Angel Flight West mission to serve R2W clients.  They made a material sacrifice that enabled me to realize R2W’s mission and I am deeply grateful.

I’ve taken many Angel Flights over the years.  10 years ago, I remember taking three small planes from my hometown airport in Boulder, Colorado to a military base in Montana where I gave a motivational speech to injured soldiers and their families.  Talk about a group of caring people who just give and give and give!  Each leg was a compelling story about the American spirit and I felt tremendously privileged to be part of something so good.

Steve, Howard, and I had perfect weather as we flew over the Rocky Mountains.  It was exhilarating.  I felt renewed as I always do on Angel Flights.  There’s just something about flying 10,000 to 20,000 feet above the earth.  So Angel Flights are a double benefit for me.

Steve Zimmerman says, “Volunteering my aircraft and piloting experience for Angel Flight missions is a joy: everyone gets something out of the deal. My passengers get to where they need to go for their medical treatments, and I get to share my love of flying. If the beauty of flight can take a patient’s mind off their illness for an hour or two, so much the better.”

The following pictures are from Steve.

Thank you again and again, Steve and Howard.  You are good people doing good things.

 

More stories:

 

www.return2work.org

 

http://www.return2work.org/2017/r2ws-20th-annual-gala-january-13-2018

http://www.return2work.org/2017/testimonials

 

http://www.return2work.org/contact-us

 

 

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In Loving Memory – Alfred “Ray” Brazell

When I was a green rookie cop in Pinedale 1972, Ray was my backup on a domestic call.  The guy at the domestic had a shotgun waving it around.  Being a rookie I was scared to death.  Ray calmly walked up to the guy and jerked the shotgun out of his hands.  Ray was always ready and willing to backup another officer, I had a lot of respect for him.  Darned good officer he was.  I learned a lot from him. 

My condolences to the family.

Hank Ruland
Retired County Sheriff
Pinedale

Alfred “Ray” Brazell 1928 – 2017

 

Alfred “Ray” Brazell, 89, passed away Christmas morning, December 25, 2017 at Sage View Care Center in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He was a resident of Pinedale, Wyoming for 50 years and a former resident of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Ray was born on June 5, 1928 in Baggs, Wyoming, the son of Alfred W. Brazell and Ethel Hutchinson.

He attended schools in Baggs, Rawlins, and Saratoga Wyoming.

Ray married Frankie Nixon in Saratoga, Wyoming on June 4, 1950 and divorced in 1976. He married Caroline Boroff on August 15, 1980 in Daniel, Wyoming.

He was a Marine in World War II and worked as a Highway Patrolman for Wyoming Highway Patrol for 35 years, and later retired in 1976. Ray also worked for the Pinedale School District as a bus mechanic, then as a reverse flow tester in the Jonah Oil and Gas Field. He was a member of the Masonic lodge and a founding member of Project: Return to Work Inc. (R2W) in 1998 to help injured warriors and disabled civilians back to work, back to life.  He donated money over the decades and gave speeches to injured warriors at military events about the similarities and differences between service during World War II and current conflicts.  He also mentored injured warriors returning from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other locations around the world.


Ray enjoyed timbering, fishing, hunting, camping, ranching, horses, and woodworking.

Survivors include his former wife Frankie Nixon Brazell of Port Charlotte, Florida, wife Caroline Brazell of Pinedale, Wyoming; four sons, Rob Ray Brazell of Boulder, Colorado, Chuck McDermott and wife Katie of Dillon, Colorado, Brian McDermott and wife Dolor of Pinedale, Wyoming, Kevin McDermott and wife Tina of Farmington, New Mexico; two brothers, Dale Brazell of Rock Springs, Wyoming, Vern Brazell and wife Luana of Salt Lake city, Utah; two grandchildren, Melina and Tanon McDermott, as well as several nieces and nephews.



He was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, DeLisle Ruth Brazell Webb Lovenlight; one brother Floyd Brazell; five sisters; Alice Whisler, Helen Moore, Eileen Wentworth, Doris Rodgers, and Jane Moore, and his beloved dog, Cindy.

Following cremation a funeral service will be conducted in Spring, 2018.  Contact Rob Brazell at rob.brazell@return2work.org or 720-359-1541 for details. 

 

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R2W’s 18th Annual Dinner Party & Award Ceremony

R2W celebrated last year’s award recipients at Summit Church in Denver, Colorado on April 20th, 2016.  It was an inspiring event.  See photos and read more about it on our Facebook page.

2015 – Blastoff!

  R2W launches its Mentor program under Admiral Young’s guidance

R2W participates in Military & Veterans Employment Expos (MVEE), hosts classes at community colleges & universities, and engages the community at our annual Day Of Caring event

 

R2W significantly increases Employment Services & Supported Employment in Florida

 

 

R2W’s Founder awarded President Obama’s Gold Medal.

2015 Board Member of the Year

Andy Sesser, Treasurer. Andy mentored Rob Brazell in relearning the financial management skills necessary to run a business. Andy owns Sesser Business Solutions: providing quality accounting software solutions since 1992.

2015 Webmaster of the Year


Nena Gardner. Nena is a Bachelor of Science graduate of Business Management and Information Systems emphasis from the University of Colorado Denver Business School. She has over ten years of community service experience, both as a member, volunteer and in leadership roles. She currently works at Colorado National Guard Family Program’s Office as a Family Readiness Support Assistant contractor. Rob Brazell is her mentor through Colorado National Guard ESGR program and she has been with R2W since November 2015 as a Job Developer/ Webmaster/ & Social Media Coordinator.

 

2015 Instructor of the Year


Jennifer Cohen. Jennifer is an instructional designer and adult educator with over twenty years of experience working with a diverse population of learners. Jennifer’s background in technology training includes applications for the office, presentations, and the web.  She holds a master’s degree in learning technology and uses her passion for creative problem solving to help others understand complex concepts.

 

 

2015 Employee of the Year


Nikki D’Agostino, Employment Specialist. Nikki is particularly drawn to aiding the developmentally disabled, physically and mentally disabled, the underprivileged, and the underemployed. At an early age she began volunteering at Wrentham Developmental Center. She graduated from Suffolk University with highest distinction for a Bachelor’s degree of Science in clinical psychology and worked at Arbour-Fuller Psychiatric Hospital where she served dual diagnoses patients (mental illness and co-occurring drug addiction).  She worked as a Career Specialist for two years at a non-profit organization in Massachusetts. She says, “Working as an Employment Specialist at Project: Return to Work Inc has given me the opportunity to work with employers to strive for equality and diversity in the workplace, ….  I am always pushing myself to learn new skills and knowledge so that I can be a better leader, organizer and advocate for those less fortunate than myself.”

2015 STEM Interns of the Year


Edward Fenwick. Ed Fenwick recently graduated from the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center. He moved from the United Kingdom in 2009 and has lived in Kalamazoo since then. Ed participated in the Assistant Job Development Internship as well as the Assistant Technical Support Internship. He is a member of the Gull Lake Area Robotics team and does research at Western Michigan University.


Rhett Sandal. Rhett Sandal is a student at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, Colorado.  He set the standard for Job Developers and Tech Support Specialists.   He is active in the Robotics and Music field, and likes to help people with their technology problems.

 

2015 Volunteer of the Year


James Spencer, Employment Specialist. After a successful career in business Jim became disabled and found how difficult it is for a person with a disability to find a job. This personal experience convinced him he had a responsibility to apply what he had learned in business to improving this situation. For additional preparation he returned to school, completed a Master’s degree in Administration and a Masters in Rehabilitation Job Services. This combination of experience and education in the profession has created opportunities for him to work with clients with disabilities from the assembly line to the board room. In 2008 he published “Job Search 101.” Since then he has helped develop job service programs in several nonprofit organizations and been guest lecturer to degree candidates in Rehabilitation Services. Career search is his passion. His motto is “Everyone deserves an opportunity to acquire and hold a good job. Disability should not be a factor.

2015 Model Citizen


Greg Lind, Farmer Insurance Agent. R2W’s Founder says, “Greg Lind saved me a bundle of money on my car and homeowners insurance. He also donates monthly and mentors key people. Greg is a model citizen and I am deeply grateful for his community leadership.”

 

 

 

Lifetime Achievement


Frankie R Nixon Brazell, Missions Operations Manager (MOM) & Founder. Fran has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to create a self-sustaining operation in Florida. She is a model leader and has placed many disabled Americans in meaningful careers. Fran worked in Administration at the First Church of Christ Scientist and as a Team Lead at the US Bureau of Land Management. Fran also owns and operates NAC Business Consulting.

 

R2W Programs

Tier 1 & 2: Direct Recruiting

 
Tier 1 clients are not injured and Tier 2 clients have completed their vocational rehabilitation.     They are “job ready” and can radically speed up the employment process by utilizing automated features and online classes.

Tier 3 & 4: Service Learning

 
Tier 3 clients are severely injured and need vocational rehabilitation. Tier 4 clients are so severely injured that gainful employment is not realistic but supported employment adds quality of life. Service Learning internships utilize donated technologies to quickly zero in on specific work tasks that excite clients, bring out their resiliency, and achieve stabilization more quickly.

Tier 3 & 4: Employment Services & Supported Employment

 
R2W provides an array of traditional vocational rehabilitation services for Tier 3 & 4 clients. These clients frequently require months or years of intensive service.
 

Our Services

Evaluation

 
Clients evaluate themselves in a fraction of the time. Our psychometric profiler asks questions in a creative way to assess client aptitudes and preferences. R2W counselors performs a follow up evaluation to complete a plan. The plan identifies the client’s career goals, personality traits and interests — along with traditional factors such as work experience — in order to match them with potential employers.

Training

 
Clients enroll in vocational programs, higher education, and/or R2W’s Service Learning program. Additional career counseling includes resume critiques, successful interview / presentation strategies, business and career etiquette, and more.

Placement

 
R2W counselors utilize donated technologies and innovative methods to match applicants with employers for unprecedented positive outcomes – lasting placements.
 
 

 

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R2W Connects With CU’s Volunteer Resource Center

Get ready for CU’s Spring 2016 Volunteer Fair! Start your new year off with helping others and come join Project: Return To Work (R2W) and other organizations to learn more about the volunteer and internship positions available.

Project: Return To Work has many STEM internships available including, assistant job developer, assistant employment specialist, assistant technical support specialist, and assistant technical support specialist.  Other opportunities include grant writing, fundraising, marketing, and much more. We aren’t only looking for students. We hope to connect with staff who would make great mentors for R2W! Be sure to stop by and check us out to get more details about how you can get involved with this amazing organization! Browse around on our website to learn more about us in the meantime at www.return2work.org.

The event will be held on January 13, 2016 in the Glenn Miller Ballroom from 10AM-2PM. Check out the Volunteer Resource Center’s website under events for more information.

www.colorado.edu/volunteer

 

CU Boulder’s Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) just launched their 50th anniversary event last month!  Shannon Petro, Volunteer Coordinator and Office Manager, represented R2W.  The event recognized the history of VRC’s beginnings as well as the founder of the organization.  Not only did the founder present his take on volunteerism and how he started the organization, but other students shared their experiences and how it impacted their lives directly.

VRC helps connect students to volunteer opportunities in the community. The VRC has a lot of great ways for the students to get out and about to support a cause that is special to them.  One of those ways is through their Alternative Spring Break Program.  This program sends students to locations where you can participate in social and environmental justice issues.

The volunteer resource center has many great connections within the community and it is a great way to get started in civil service.  Not only will you get to benefit those in need, but you too will gain valuable experience and participate in meaningful volunteer opportunities.

Check out their website for more information at http://www.colorado.edu/volunteer/

R2W offers four STEM internships to students from high schools, colleges, and universities in multiple states.  R2W also offers other student internships.  Some include credit and/or small stipends.  Follow the GET INVOLVED links at www.return2work.org for details about all volunteer positions at R2W.

Edward Fenwick, Student Intern

Paige O’Connor, STEM Intern

 

Montek Thind, STEM Intern

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2015 Day of Caring – 9/11

August 14, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Help Needed at United Way’s 2015 Day of Caring to Connect Veterans with Jobs

 

BOULDER—Project: Return to Work, Inc. (R2W) helps returning veterans, including wounded warriors, and disabled citizens to find meaningful careers with living wages.

 

The non-profit organization is seeking 25 volunteers to man its call bank during Foothills United Way’s 2015 Day of Caring on September 11th, which will be held at facilities donated by Office Evolution. R2W will train volunteers to alert job seekers that they’ve been matched with potential employers, and also connect them with professional counselors to prepare them for their interviews. This year Safeway—which has a strong track record helping veterans—is recruiting for a number of positions.

Volunteers can register via www.return2work.org (click on GET INVOLVED) or Foothills United Ways Volunteer Connections (click here).

 

“So many of us want to thank our service people,” notes Rob Brazell, R2W president. “The annual Day of Caring event lets volunteers use state-of-the-art technology—all of which has been donated by sponsors like ReadyTalk, StaffCV and Microsoft—to connect active duty service members, veterans and military spouses to meaningful jobs.” After the half-day event, interested volunteers can continue their service by working independently to match over 8,500 R2W participants to the best positions.

 

R2W also seeks to recruit new employers and sponsors for the Day of Caring event as well as for long-term involvement. (R2W suggests an optional contribution of $175 per posting to cover core costs.) More sizable private industry sponsorships to support career counselors and STEM interns are also needed. Contact Jason Kamp at http://www.return2work.org/contact-us or (720) 359-1541.

 

Edward Fenwick, Student Intern

 

Day of Caring: 8:00 AM – Noon, 4845 Pearl East Circle, Suite 101, Boulder, CO 80301

There will be a picnic afterwards at United Way location. Bring your laptop!

 

SPONSORS

Thank you!

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

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A Mother’s Love

Non-profit organization needs your donation to keep its mission alive.

“Thank you for your service,” the phrase civilians often use when they encounter military personnel, seems inadequate considering the sacrifices these warriors have made.

Please give lasting thanks by making a donation to Project: Return to Work Inc. (R2W). This national organization honors returning veterans by matching them with employers who need their skills. R2W’s unique approach slashes the job-search timeframe from months or even longer to just minutes compared to services provided by government agencies. Since 1998, R2W has helped thousands of returning vets, military spouses and disabled civilians find jobs commensurate with their skills, aptitudes, and interests.

Founded by former aerospace engineer Rob Brazell, his mother, Fran Nixon, and lifetime mentor, Malcolm D. Crawford, R2W was initially conceived to help people with disabilities. Brazell, who had recently recovered from a terminal illness, decided that “instead of building rockets and satellites I would start R2W to help myself and other disabled people transition back to employment and self-worth.”

Combining Nixon’s human resources and government background and Brazell’s technology prowess, the mother-son team launched the software-driven job search organization 17 years ago and gained a successful track record placing civilians. Brazell’s father, Ray, a WWII Marine, Uncle Floyd and Uncle Dale, a WWII Army Veteran, then helped expand R2W’s mission to include veterans—especially wounded warriors—and their spouses. Nixon, a state-certified vocational rehabilitation counselor in Florida, procured and fulfilled government contracts while Brazell, accompanied by the late Sargent Douglas “Bulldog” Dellinger, gave motivational speeches at military bases, prompting hundreds of injured soldiers to sign up for R2W’s innovative services.

“R2W’s achievements would have been impossible without the devotion of my mother, who not only nursed me back to health during my illness and helped me launch a model business but also came out of retirement to help save it years later”, Brazell says.

Four years ago Nixon, emerged from retirement again when a car accident left Brazell with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder—injuries identical to those of hundreds of the veterans R2W had served. Nixon has covered many of Brazell’s former duties since his accident, and this proud son credits his mother with keeping R2W afloat during his ongoing rehabilitation. On a personal note, Nixon purchased a puppy for her dog-loving son this Christmas, and she hopes to persuade the breeder to donate a puppy to a returning vet.

“Today R2W is thriving with fewer resources thanks to donated technology tools and bright young volunteers who understand how to use them,” says Brazell. “Without new funds, however, we’re in danger of losing grant money that is crucial to our mission. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation this holiday season.”

 

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In Loving Memory of Malcolm Douglas Crawford

(August 29, 1920 – May 6, 2014)

I am deeply saddened to inform our readers that Malcolm Douglas Crawford, R2W’s Treasurer and my lifelong mentor, passed away on May 6 after a long illness.

It is difficult for me to put into words the profound influence Malcolm Crawford has had upon my life, my career and the founding of R2W. The best place to start is with a brief summary of this extraordinary man’s background and achievements.

Malcolm Crawford was born in Nashville and later studied Economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Inspired by the geopolitical events of the era, he enrolled in the newly established Tufts-Harvard Fletcher School of Diplomacy, from which he received an MA in 1944. He then went to Yale Law School, from which he graduated with honors in 1947. He subsequently served as a consular official at the U.S. Embassies in London and Paris, assisting with postwar reconstruction efforts. He spent most of his professional life working as a securities and corporate attorney in Denver, and worked well into his late 80s.

When I was ready to make the leap from “Big Corporation USA” to my own company in the 1980s, Malcolm helped me form my aeronautics business. He taught me everything I know about private stock sales, as well as how to negotiate with multiple partners all vying for control. His generous guidance and counsel added greatly to the success of my aerospace business prior to my being diagnosed with a terminal illness. When I started to get better, Malcolm helped form, manage and operate R2W—including helping to recruit a blue-ribbon board and win our initial government contract. He continued to open doors and make difficult situations effortless for us over the years, never asking for anything in return.

Malcolm’s mentorship transcended private and public business endeavors. We talked about The New Deal, Adolf Hitler, and the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. We talked about analogies in today’s world and how he might do things differently. He had a wonderfully reserved sense of humor—smiles and chuckles as opposed to big belly laughs. He was one of America’s greatest statesmen and philanthropists and I was extremely fortunate to have known him.

Malcolm is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Sheila Eigeman Crawford, and his five children and seven grandchildren. Please join me in remembering Malcolm Crawford for his gift of friendship, his generosity, kindness and intelligence.

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Just Plain Very Hard – Flash Floods – Boulder, CO

So hard to get the brain around how the recovery will happen since these scenes are repeated over such a broad area along the Front Range (plus the downstream impact as the waters combine on the plains). I’m attaching two photos — one of the church where I was married and where my daughter and I were involved for all of her life and a couple more years before that for me (about 14 years). I’m also attaching a photo of how it looks now. Descriptions sound like soil from the Fourmile Canyon Fire’s burn area came down bringing black water (not “blackwater”), cars, telephone poles, large boulders … and gouged the area to six feet below the former road bed.

I used to live in Boulder Canyon — my own house was not in the 100-year-floodplain but so many were. As you know, rebuilding can’t begin until there is a road to deliver supplies.

It just hurts to think about and I’m not even dealing with any loss. My daughter lives on Capitol Hill and I live next to Highlands (HIGH lands) so … we’re fine since we didn’t have runoff or canyon flashfloods to experience.

I know you’ll like how people will pull together but it’s also a tense time when absolutely everyone is grieving. Very different from when, say, one person’s house burns and everyone chips in to help their situation.

There are also degrees of “survivor guilt” where someone feels they can’t talk about their sadness because they “only” lost the VIEW from their home and someone else lost their HOME. In every case, each person needs to find someone who can listen but often other victims are the only ones who really understand and yet they are coping with their own loss. Recovery is prolonged because of this and it’s just plain very hard.

R2W Headquarters Hit Hard.
Please volunteer online or donate now
100% helps R2W client
15 years in Boulder

Stay tuned for prayer circles and heartening National Guard rescuers near R2W’s offices.

Volunteer For Boulder Emergency

The roads are closed. Still, volunteers from other states are keeping R2W’s operations running. Clients can still login and connect with employers. We’re still conducting counseling services that are more relevant than ever.

We are focusing on helping evacuees transition out of shelters and replacing computer equipment to get key counselors back into the field. We are using R2W’s buddy system to help each other with shelter, food, groovy clothing, a good listener, and a place to call home while figuring out the next step. Recruiting volunteers for the cleanup.

Your help matters more than ever right now. Please GET INVOLVED now.

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R2W Delivers the Right Level of Support to Disabled Job Seekers

By Stefanie Fleisig O’Connor

Project: Return to Work Inc. (R2W) is probably best known for helping U.S. veterans to transition back into civilian society via meaningful employment.  Founded in 1998, the Colorado-based non-profit organization has a solid track record of training and placing service people—including wounded warriors with significant disabilities—to perform jobs that best suit their needs and capabilities.

R2W’s mission transcends the veteran segment, however, to include non-military Americans with varying degrees of disability.  Carol Sarganis, a Naples, FL-based Employment Specialist and job coach who was hired by R2W in 2006, is uniquely qualified to fulfill her role with empathy as well as expertise.

“I have the Limb Girdle form of Muscular Dystrophy, which affects the lower extremities,” Sarganis explains.  “I had trouble walking throughout childhood and I have used a wheelchair since high school.”  Despite her lifelong challenges Sarganis feels that she also has had many opportunities, including being able to serve as a remedial reading specialist at the elementary school level for 28 years.  “I’ve always had an innate desire to help people with disabilities,” she says, “and my teaching experience has helped me be effective for R2W’s clients.”

On R2W’s behalf Sarganis became a certified provider of the Federally-funded Division of Vocational Training (DVR).  In this role she helps disabled job seekers in the Naples area with everything from appropriate dress and hygiene advice to transportation to job interviews.  Her clients fall into three tiers: those with multiple disabilities who require significant job support, people who can perform their jobs with some support, and job seekers who can be independent after the initial training period.

Sarganis has learned to adapt her teaching style, including coaching prospective employees on resume preparation and interview skills, to both the capabilities and limitations of each client.  At times this means gently adjusting expectations.  “I have a client named John who wanted to be an animal trainer, but his disabilities precluded this,” she recalls.   In addition to having a borderline IQ, which makes many tasks too difficult, this client suffers from extremely low self- esteem—a trait that contributed to John’s history of quitting jobs after a short time.

Sarganis realized that John needed an unusually high level of affirmation from an employer, and worked to find the right fit for him.

A job bagging groceries at Publix, a large supermarket chain, was the answer for John.  “Publix has a track record of hiring people with special needs, and his supervisors did a great job training him,” Sarganis says.  “This employer is especially good about validating his work and feelings.”  After nearly three years in a full-time position at Publix, Sarganis considers John a success story.

R2W client Pete’s limitations are similar to John’s, but he couldn’t be more different in temperament and attitude.  “He’s outgoing and very self-confident, which is wonderful,” explains Sarganis, “but his extreme chattiness was hurting his employment chances.”  She worked with Pete to build a resume—something she does with every client—and also taught him to curb his loquaciousness, a decidedly more unusual task.  “We’re still working on it,” she says with a laugh.  Having served as a grocery bagger at Winn Dixie since 2010, Pete is now training to become a stock boy.  Sarganis has gotten to know Pete’s family and she notes that his parents, like the vast majority of clients’ parents, strive to help their child become as independent as possible.

Sarganis also has had success placing people who require far less support.  In the case of Michael, who suffered a stroke in his 40s that left him paralyzed on one side, the bulk of her job was providing logistics.  R2W got the ball rolling by helping to prepare a resume and line up interviews and transportation, and Michael ran with it, impressing his prospective employer so much that he was hired on the spot as a security guard in a gated community. “He was extremely proactive and had a great attitude,” Sarganis says.  Michael has served in this job for around three years.

Whether a job seeker needs heavy support during and after the employment process or, like Michael, is able to move forward without much contact after placement, R2W is equipped to deliver the appropriate level of help for people who want to be gainfully employed despite their limitations.

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Home from War: Military Expo offers vets help finding jobs

by Jeremy Hubbard

When Marine Lance Corporal Kaleb McCarthy returned home from war last Saturday night, his loving family wasn’t the only thing awaiting him here in Colorado.  So was reality.

The soldier from Craig, Colorado – who turned 22 Wednesday – is just back from the front lines in Afghanistan, and gets out of the Marines for good in a couple of months.  And like thousands of other soldiers, he doesn’t know what’s next.

“I’ve been thinking about it, but I’m taking it one step at a time.  I know the job market is hard, but I’m gonna just get out there and try to do the best I can,” Kaleb told FOX 31 Denver Saturday at Denver International Airport.

It’s because of soldiers like Kaleb, that some volunteers in Douglas County got together Tuesday and Wednesday and held the Military and Veterans Employment Expo.  It was organized with help from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

More than just a job fair, this expo is a chance for soldiers to figure out how to write a resume that doesn’t use “military-speak.”  Classes are held on social networking, career exploration, how to get ahead of the competition, and what not to do during a job interview.

They’re skills Marc Messier needs.  The 23 year old Afghanistan veteran just got out of the Air Force a month and ten days ago.  Now, he’s one of the more than one million unemployed veterans in the US.

“I have some school, not much, so it’s kind of like you’re in the middle, you’re in a bind.  What do you want to do?  Where do you want to go? I don’t know,” Messier said.

Connecting those dots is what they hope to do here, by only allowing serious employers who are hiring right now to set up a booth.  They also want to teach the veterans to leave a lasting impression on their potential bosses.

“We have people who have gone to multiple job fairs in the last few months, and they say that they feel like they’re just a number and they’re not getting that one on one interaction.”

That kind of interaction is something Kaleb McCarthy could use.  But he does have a plan.

“I’m actually wanting to be a US Marshall, so gonna try to do that, and if I can’t do that, do some plumbing.”

This is uneasy territory for soldiers like McCarthy.  He’s use to other people – his military bosses – making all the decisions for him.  Now, it’s all up to him.

For more information on the Military & Veterans Employment Expo just held in Douglas County, click here: http://www.mvee.org/

….

see for full article including video:  http://kdvr.com/2012/04/25/home-from-war-military-expo-offers-resume-writing-interviewing-skills/