America Supports You: Technology Center Helps Vets Transition
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2007 Transitioning from military to civilian life can be daunting for some, but one group is helping to streamline the process.
A veteran is hard at work after participating in the Homefront Readiness program in Columbia, S.C. Homefront Readiness is a Fast Forward Community Technology Center program geared toward helping veterans transition from military life into the civilian work force. Courtesy photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Fast Forward Community Technology Center, in Columbia, S.C., provides access to technology and technology education to people who might otherwise have access. Recently, however, the group has created a program to provide veterans with tools necessary to successfully transition into civilian employment.
“The main effort of the ‘Homefront Readiness’ program is to help military veterans find good, secure jobs within the civilian sector,” said Becca Smith, the program’s director.
Veterans meet with Smith to decide on a course of action, which can include anything from getting help with technology and job skills to networking. She can help them create or edit a resume or find military-friendly employers in the area.
“We have been incredibly successful thus far,” Smith said. “Currently, 69 veterans are enrolled in the program, and 16 have secured civilian jobs.”
She said more than half of veterans participating in Homefront Readiness have increased their technology skills. “I believe it’s the personalized attention and individualized plan that makes our program different and that helps veterans achieve success in the civilian sector,” she said.
Homefront Readiness recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.
“I’m excited about the networking aspect of being on the (America Support You) Web site,” Smith said. “We are actively looking for funding and support to help us keep the programs running.”
Homefront Readiness, which began in January, is funded through a grant by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Smith said. That grant will expire in January 2009.