Job and Career Events for Veterans, Military Families

Veterans and military family members looking for a job or a new career – today is your day. Several Florida state agencies are sponsoring Paychecks for Patriots.

Image courtesy of VeteransToday.com.

Image courtesy of VeteransToday.com.

There are 18 hiring events planned throughout Florida Wednesday, July 16, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. organized by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and the Florida National Guard.

The state is partnering with Dollar General and nearly 500 employers that are interested in the knowledge, skills, and of military veterans.

Paychecks for Patriots events in the Tampa Bay area:

  • NEW PORT RICHEY – CareerSource Pasco Hernando
    4440 Grand Blvd.
    New Port Richey, FL 35652
    Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director Mike Prendergast will be in attendance.
  • ARCADIA – CareerSource Heartland
    DeSoto County
    2160 NE Roan Ave
    Arcadia, FL 34266
  • LAKELAND – CareerSource Polk
    Florida Army National Guard
    4140 Drane Field Road
    Lakeland, FL 33811
  • SARASOTA – CareerSource Suncoast
    HQ 3-265th ADA
    2890 Ringling Blvd.
    Sarasota, FL 34237
  • SEBRING – CareerSource Heartland
    Highlands County
    5901 US 27 S, Suite 1
    Sebring, FL 33870
  • WAUCHULA – CareerSource Heartland
    Hardee County
    324 Sixth Ave North
    Wauchula, FL 33873

Unable to attend a Paychecks for Patriots hiring event? Veterans and military members can apply for available positions online at www.employflorida.com.

Advertisements

8 Benefits for Veterans and Military in ‘Florida GI Bill’

Governor Rick Scott signs the 'Florida GI Bill' with Senate President Don Gaetz, Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, Rep. Doc Renuart, Rep. Jimmie Smith and Rep. Jimmy Patronis at the Panama City ceremony. Photo Courtesy of Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.

Governor Rick Scott signs the ‘Florida GI Bill’ with Senate President Don Gaetz, Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, Rep. Doc Renuart, Rep. Jimmie Smith and Rep. Jimmy Patronis at the Panama City ceremony. Photo Courtesy of Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.

With the stroke of a pen Monday, Gov. Rick Scott positioned Florida to attract more veterans – beyond the estimated 1.5 million already living here – to attend college, to work and to retire in the state.

The “Florida GI Bill,” crafted to resemble the post-WWII benefits, includes measures for veterans, active-duty families and military installations.

A key provision is in-state tuition waivers for student veterans attending public colleges and universities. Student veterans lobbied for several years before lawmakers granted them the lower tuition rate now granted to vets no matter when they moved to Florida . It will cost universities and colleges an estimated $12 million.

Ray Mollison, president of the University of South Florida Student Veterans Association (SVA), said it was a team effort finally getting tuition waivers passed.

“People in the SVA, all of them together, really collaborated together to try to push this in-state tuition,” Mollison said Monday. “What this definitely emphasizes is, is that we definitely in the state of Florida facilitate veterans’ needs.”

Photo courtesy of the VA

Photo courtesy of the VA

Mollison believes the tuition benefit may attract more veterans to Florida for an education and job possibilities.

“It’s something that I’m looking forward to seeing in the fall semester, when it gets kicked off, because I think we’re going to see a new veteran population start flowing in,” Mollison said. “Because they realize Tampa has a great environment, a great area for employment opportunities.”

That’s what lawmakers hope as well. So the new law includes other “military friendly provisions”:

  1. $1.5 million in scholarships for Florida National Guard members
  2. $12.5 million to renovate and upgrade National Guard facilities
  3. $7.5 million to buy land surrounding MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, and Naval Support Activity in Panama City.
  4. It waives state professional licensing fees for veterans up to five years after discharge.
  5. It grants a waiver to active-duty military family members, spouses and dependents, so they don’t have to obtain a Florida drivers license to get a job or attend public schools in the state.
  6. It establishes Florida Is For Veterans, a new nonprofit corporation, to promote the hiring of veterans and to get veterans to move to the state.
  7. It also requires the state’s tourism arm, Visit Florida, to spend $1 million a year marketing to veterans.
  8. It establishes the Florida Veterans’ Walk of Honor and Florida Veterans’ Memorial Garden in Tallahassee.

The new law (HB 7015) goes into effect July 1, 2014. And in a tribute to former Cong. C.W. Bill Young, the tuition wavier act was named after the Pinellas County lawmaker who passed away in 2013 after more than four decades in Congress.

5 Top Reasons Why a Civilian Recruiter Won’t Hire a Veteran

Soldiers line up to check in for the CivilianJobs.com job fair sponsored by the Fort Campbell, Ky., Army Career and Alumni Program office. Hundreds of transitioning service members, veterans, and their family members took part in the event.

Soldiers line up to check in for the CivilianJobs.com job fair sponsored by the Fort Campbell, Ky., Army Career and Alumni Program office. Hundreds of transitioning service members, veterans, and their family members took part in the event.

My thanks to Kiersten Downs, a student veteran and anthropology doctoral student who shared an article from the Business Insider that lists 9 reasons why veterans don’t get hired.

It’s written by Sultan Camp, a veteran and military recruiter for Orion International. He shares some consistent themes he’s observed on why transitioning military applicants don’t get hired.

Here are the top 5 reasons he lists:

  1.   You can’t or won’t accept that you’re starting over
  2. You believe you’re unique
  3. Your resume is longer than that of our company’s CEO
  4. You didn’t proof read your resume
  5. You don’t have a LinkedIn profile or even worse it is incomplete

You can read all 9 reasons and fuller explanations by this seasoned recruiter of military personnel here: http://www.careerattraction.com/congratulations-on-your-military-service-now-here-are-9-reasons-why-i-wont-hire-you/#ixzz2powEzzze

Veterans Day Events, Parades, Films, Ceremonies

Photo Credit: Jackie Dorr

Photo Credit: Jackie Dorr

Throughout Florida and the nation events and special showings are scheduled to recognize the sacrifice of those who served in the US Armed Forces and those who are currently serving. Keep checking back for updates.

A map of Veterans Day observances throughout the United States is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs: Celebrate our Veterans this Veterans Day.  Participate in Veterans Day events across the country on November 11, 2013, and join VA as we #ThankAVet on social media.

NOVEMBER 10 – Sunday

CLEARWATER – A Veterans Celebration and Movie in the Park, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance, is scheduled at Crest Lake Park, Gulf to Bay and S. Lake Dr, Clearwater, FL. Activities start from 3-5 pm with youth events like a dunk tank, water balloon toss and lure casting. The main event is at 5 pm with a Color Guard, speakers and Heroes’ Walk. TAPS at Sunset followed by the Movie in the Park, “They Were Expendable” with John Wayne and Donna Reed. For details: http://www.TampaBayVeteransAlliance.org

ST. PETERSBURG – A free, Veterans Entrepreneur Expo, sponsored by the volunteer business mentors at Pinellas SCORE, is planned exclusively for veterans, active-duty military and their families. The Expo: “Turn your Passion into Profits” is Sunday, Nov. 10, from 10 am to 5 pm at the Hilton Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Dr, St Petersburg, FL 33716. Education tracks are scheduled throughout the day on business start-up basics, legal options, tips on franchising and a special discussion panel at 3:45 is on financing a business including the use of crowd-sourcing and SBA loans. Throughout the event, SCORE volunteers will be available for a “speed-meeting” to listen to ideas. The keynote speaker is Mark Swanson, an Army veteran, successful serial entrepreneur and Bright House executive. There is no cost. Prior registration is preferred but walk-ins will be welcomed. http:// http://pinellascounty.score.org/

TAMPA – Admission at Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Avenue, Tampa, FL, is free for military personnel (active-duty and veterans) Sunday, Nov. 10, and Monday, Nov. 11 from 9:30 am to 5 pm. The military member will need to show a Department of Defense photo ID at the Zoo’s ticket windows. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minors. http://www.lowryparkzoo.com

MSNBC – The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) will debut “Wounded: The Battle Back Home,” a documentary film series that focuses on issues of critical importance to this generation of injured service members and their families through personal stories of struggle and resiliency. MSNBC is airing it on Sunday, November 10, 2013, at 12 p.m. EST/9 a.m. PST as a part of special Veterans Day programming on “Taking the Hill.” http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org

NOVEMBER 11 – Monday – Veterans Day

ALL FLORIDA STATE PARKS – To celebrate Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2013, entry into all state parks (with the exception of the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park) is free veterans and the general public  as a tribute to Veterans Day. Check out the list of state parks HERE. http://www.floridastateparks.org/thingstodo/deals.cfm

BAY PINES – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony starting at 11:00 am. in the outdoor courtyard located behind building 37.  The event is open to all Veterans, their family and friends, and the general public. Highlights to include musical performances by the Keswick Christian School Choir; a special parade of colors, guest speakers U.S. Marine Col. (retired) Mr. Robert H. Chase, Jr., Deputy Director, Interagency Action Group, United States Central Command, and Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. Reserved and general parking will be available nearby.  A shuttle service will also be available to provide transportation for guest from parking lots to the ceremony area. For directions http://www.baypines.va.gov/locations/directions.asp

 

Continue reading

SCORE Hosts Free Veterans Entrepreneur Expo Sunday

Jack Grise, a Navy veteran and successful businessman, started the Veterans Initiative with Pinellas SCORE. Free mentoring, counseling and help with business start-ups for veterans and active-duty military and their immediate families.

Jack Grise, a Navy veteran and successful businessman, started the Veterans Initiative with Pinellas SCORE. Free mentoring, counseling and help with business start-ups for veterans and active-duty military and their immediate families.

As more and more active-duty military enter the civilian workforce, the number of Career and Job Fairs for Veterans has grown.

But very little so far has been offered to those veterans and military families who want to work for themselves.

 

Jack Grise with the Pinellas SCORE Veterans Initiative, sponsors of the free Veterans Entrepreneur Expo.

Enter Pinellas SCORE and its’ Veterans Initiative. For a second year, the free business mentoring group has planned a Start-Up Business Resource Expo for veterans, active-duty members and their families.

The Veterans Entrepreneur Expo: “Turn your Passion into Profits” is Sunday, Nov. 10, from 10 am to 5 pm at the Hilton Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Dr, St Petersburg, FL 33716.

“The yearly expo is intended to take that 60-65 percent that think about self-employment but do nothing about it, I want them to know what resources are available,” said Jack Grise, a Navy veteran and vice president of the Pinellas SCORE Veterans Initiative.

Veterans and those currently serving can learn what is involved in starting a business and it’s all for free.

Pinellas SCORE has dozens of volunteer business experts ready to help veterans interested in starting their own business. Photo courtesy of Pinellas SCORE.

Pinellas SCORE has dozens of volunteer business experts ready to help veterans interested in starting their own business. Photo courtesy of Pinellas SCORE.

The Veterans Entrepreneur Expo is just the first step. What’s even better is that the Pinellas SCORE business counseling and mentoring is not a one-time stop.

“We work with the clients as long as they come back to us,” Grise said. “If you want to take advantage of the expertise and experience, the vast experience, that these SCORE mentors have, you’d be crazy not to, it’s free.”

The expo offers education tracks that cover the legal aspects of starting a business, social marketing, all about franchising, and most importantly ways to finance your business.

Pinellas SCORE volunteers serve as free mentors to entrepreneurs starting up or expanding businesses.

“I’ve invited a set of panelists. There’s an angel investor coming. There’s a crowd-funding person that started a crowd funding organization, (Small Business Administration) SBA subordinated loans from banks,” Grise said.

There are additional financing opportunities like the SCORE Pinellas business start-up grant program for veterans who qualify. It is designed to assist and guide veterans or their family members to achieve business success.

The keynote speaker is Mark Swanson. an Army veteran, successful serial entrepreneur and Bright House executive.

There is no cost. Prior registration is preferred but walk-ins will be welcomed.

Veterans and military who can’t make it to the Expo are invited to contact Pinellas SCORE to learn for training on the basics of starting or buying and successfully operating a business.

Free Veterans Entrepreneurship Symposium in Tampa

entrepreneurship_banner-new_500x333A free event designed for veterans, active-duty military and their families who are interested in starting a business is set Saturday, Oct. 26.

Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus, 4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd, Tampa, is hosting the Veterans Entrepreneurship Symposium from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the HCC Student Services Auditorium.

There will be opportunities to build skills, check out available community resources and network with other entrepreneurs.

Sponsored by TECO Energy and the Tampa Bay Rays, the sessions cover legal issues surrounding innovation, marketing inventions and a “idea pitch” competition for prizes at the end of the program.

The CEO of Celestar Corporation, Retired Lt. Col. Gregory Celestan, is the keynote speaker at the morning session. Check out registration at http://www.hccfl.edu/innovation.

A Green Beret Busting Myths About PTSD

Saint Leo University veteran student Brian Anderson is willing to talk about his experience with post-traumatic stress to bust myths held by the general public.

Saint Leo University veteran student Brian Anderson is willing to talk about his experience with post-traumatic stress to bust myths held by the general public.

The U.S. military is downsizing. The war in Iraq is over, and combat troops are due out of Afghanistan by the end of next year. So more than 1 million service members are expected to enter the civilian workforce in the coming years.

That’s why two veterans are on a mission to help employers and the community in general separate fact from fiction when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder.

First, not every veteran has PTSD. It affects only an estimated 20 to 25 percent of combat veterans, according to Saint Leo University associate professor Dr. Jim Whitworth, a 21-year Air Force veteran with a Ph.D. in social work.

There’s a lot to understand about post-traumatic stress and the best teachers are those with the diagnosis. However, most veterans are not comfortable talking about their traumatic experiences.

That’s where the bravery of Brian Anderson shines through. He is willing to share what can be painful details so clinicians, the public and employers have a better understanding of returning veterans.

Anderson joined the military because of September 11th. His first hitch in the Army was as a photo-print journalist with the 82nd Airborne Division. Anderson then became a Green Beret.

“I killed my first man on Dec. 31st 2008. And, you know, at that point it was more of a high-five type experience.  I was psyched. I was really pumped about it,” Anderson said. “The second deployment, I went in, our very first fire-fight was eight hours long. And we killed 39 Taliban that day and we had a couple of our guys wounded. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: