VA’s First Fully 5G-Enabled Hospital is Among the First in The World

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Medical technology concept. Medical doctor.

VA’s Palo Alto Health Care System has become the first fully 5G-enabled hospital in VA, and among the first in the world.

Health Care System Director and Army Veteran Thomas J. Fitzgerald III said, “With VA Palo Alto Health Care System being the first VA hospital, and also one of the first hospitals in America to have 5G, we feel we are right for this. This is the right time and it’s at the right place because we are in Silicon Valley.

“We are ensuring VA stays relevant with cutting-edge technology for the health and well-being of our Veterans,” he said, adding, “This is perhaps the most exciting and dramatic time in medical history.”

Dr. Thomas Osborne, director of the VA National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation located in the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, is leading the project. He described what this means for Veterans and their care.

“We are faced with a titanic confluence of growing health care challenges. At the same time, we are developing amazing technology that can dramatically advance care,” Osborne said. “Many of these advancements are creating a wealth of valuable data, which is an untapped resource because traditional infrastructure is not equipped to move and analyze that data efficiently.

“The next generation of digital networks will provide the backbone to help us unlock the potential to dramatically advance health care.”

From a Dirt Road to a Superhighway

5G is the fifth generation of wireless cellular communication and offers an extraordinary infrastructure for medical advancements. Importantly, 5G allows us to move large complex data files much faster than ever before. The improved capability is like leaving a slow dirt road and getting onto an efficient superhighway.

This opens the door to opportunities that we could only imagine before. With the addition of augmented reality tools, we have been able to turn large CT and MRI images into three-dimensional models that you can virtually hold, turn and evaluate in ways that is reminiscent of a futuristic science fiction movie. This capability can promote unparalleled understanding of complex anatomy and disease for clinicians, students and patients.

With this technology, presurgical planning can be more intuitive and realistic. One can project a patient’s own X-ray, CT or MRI onto their body and a clinician using the system can actually see where a problem is before making an opening in the skin. As a result, there is a potential for more efficient surgeries with less complications and smaller incisions.

This infrastructure provides many other opportunities, such as improved diagnosis, autonomous vehicles and democratizing care to underserved areas. We know that faster, more accurate diagnosis leads to better outcomes; therefore, it is exciting that 5G gives us the ability to transmit large data files to cutting-edge computers that can provide advanced personalized diagnosis on demand.

Advances Have Far Reaching Impact for Veterans

Veteran-centric innovation is very much at the core of our VA mission. We have an opportunity to lead the discovery and testing of solutions to improve the health care of our Veterans. These advances have the potential to have a far-reaching positive impact that extends far beyond our borders. VA partnered with Verizon, Medivis and Microsoft to deliver the 5G-enabled clinical care system at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System.

Source:  blogs.va.gov

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship for Veterans

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The Edith Nourse Rogers Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Scholarship allows some eligible Veterans and dependents in high-demand fields to extend their Post-9/11 GI Bill or Fry Scholarship benefits. Read below to find out if you’re eligible for up to 9 months (or $30,000) of added benefits and how to apply.

Am I eligible for the Rogers STEM Scholarship (GI Bill extension)?

You may be eligible for this scholarship as a Veteran or a Fry Scholar if you meet at least one of these requirements.

At least one of these must be true:

  • You’re currently enrolled in an undergraduate STEM degree program or qualifying dual-degree program, or
  • You’ve earned a post-secondary degree or a graduate degree in an approved STEM degree field and are enrolled in a covered clinical training program for health care professionals, or
  • You’ve earned a post-secondary degree in an approved STEM degree field and are working toward a teaching certification
  • Full eligibility requirements

    To be eligible, you need to meet all of the requirements listed here for your situation.

    If you’re currently enrolled in an undergraduate STEM degree or qualifying dual-degree program,

    All of these must be true:

    • You’re enrolled in a qualifying undergraduate STEM degree program that requires at least 120 standard semester credit hours (or 180 quarter credit hours) to complete, and
    • You’ve completed at least 60 standard credit hours (or 90 quarter credit hours) toward your degree, and
      You have 6 months or less of your Post-9/11 GI Bill (or Fry Scholarship) benefits left.

    To find out how much of your benefits you have left, check your Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits.

    Note: You can’t use the STEM scholarship for graduate degree programs at this time.

    If you’re enrolled in a covered clinical training program for health care professionals

    All of these must be true:

    • You’ve earned a qualifying degree in a STEM field, and
    • You’ve been accepted or are enrolled in a covered clinical training program for health care professionals, and
    • You have 6 months or less of your Post-9/11 GI Bill (or Fry Scholarship) benefits left. To find out how much of your benefits you have left, check your Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits.

    If you’re working toward a teaching certification

    All of these must be true:

    • You’ve earned a qualifying post-secondary degree in a STEM field, and
    • You’ve been accepted or are enrolled in a teaching certification program, and
    • You have 6 months or less of your Post-9/11 GI Bill (or Fry Scholarship) benefits left. To find out how much of your benefits you have left, check your Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits

    How we prioritize scholarships

    If you meet these eligibility requirements, we can’t guarantee that you’ll receive the Rogers STEM scholarship.

    We give priority to Veterans and Fry Scholars who:

    • Are eligible for the maximum Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit (100% level), and
    • Require the most credit hours compared to other applicants
    • Which degree programs can I use this scholarship for?

    You can use this scholarship for undergraduate degree programs in these subject areas:

    • Agriculture science or natural resources science
    • Biological or biomedical science
    • Computer and information science and support services
    • Engineering, engineering technologies, or an engineering-related field
    • Health care or a health-care-related field
    • Mathematics or statistics
    • Medical residency (undergraduate only)
    • Physical science
    • Science technologies or technicians

    Download the full list of eligible STEM degree programs (PDF)

    Note: We updated this full list of eligible programs in March 2021.

    How do I apply for the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship?

    You can apply online right now. The online application should take you about 15 minutes to complete.

    What happens after I apply for this scholarship?

    We usually make a decision about each scholarship within 30 days. We award scholarships on a monthly basis. If we need more information from you to make a decision, we’ll send you a letter.

    If we approve your application, you’ll get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the mail. This is also called a decision letter. Bring this COE to the VA certifying official at your school. This person is usually in the registrar’s, financial aid, or Veteran’s office at the school.

    If we don’t approve your application, you’ll get a denial letter in the mail.

    What’s STEMText?

    We use STEMText to communicate with you about your Rogers STEM Scholarship benefits through text messages.

    If you receive the Rogers STEM Scholarship, we’ll send an opt-in text message to your primary phone number. We’ll ask if you’d like to receive updates about your VA STEM benefits by text message. To participate, respond “yes” within 7 days of receiving this message.

    You can also use STEMText to verify your attendance each month. Verifying by text instead of email can help you get your housing payments faster. We’ll send you a text message each month asking if you attended your STEM courses. To verify, just respond “yes.”

    Go to our STEMText video (YouTube) to learn more.

    Read the complete article posted on the VA Website.

What STEM Careers are in High Demand?

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Have you ever wondered what the outlook might be for your STEM career five or even ten years out? Or maybe you are a current student weighing your options for a chosen career path and need to know the type of degree that is required.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education labor trends and workforce studies experts have culled through the BLS data and have summarized the outlook for several select STEM careers.

With the right information in-hand — and a prestigious research experience to complement your education — you can increase the confidence you have when selecting a STEM career.

Software Developers
There are over 1,469,000 software developers in the U.S. workforce either employed as systems software developers or employed as applications software developers. Together, employment for software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software because of an increase in the number of products that use software. The need for new applications on smart phones and tablets will also increase the demand for software developers. Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks. Most jobs in this field require a degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field and strong computer programming skills.

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program from identifying the core functionality that users need from software programs to determining requirements that are unrelated to the functions of the software, such as the level of security and performance. Software developers design each piece of an application or system and plan how the pieces will work together. This often requires collaboration with other computer specialists to create optimum software.

Atmospheric Scientists
Atmospheric sciences include fields such as climatology, climate science, cloud physics, aeronomy, dynamic meteorology, atmosphere chemistry, atmosphere physics, broadcast meteorology and weather forecasting.

Most jobs in the atmospheric sciences require at least a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or a related field that studies the interaction of the atmosphere with other scientific realms such as physics, chemistry or geology. Additionally, courses in remote sensing by radar and satellite are useful when pursuing this career path.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer models have greatly improved the accuracy of forecasts and resulted in highly customized forecasts for specific purposes. The need for atmospheric scientists working in private industry is predicted to increase as businesses demand more specialized weather information for time-sensitive delivery logistics and ascertaining the impact of severe weather patterns on industrial operations. The demand for atmospheric scientists working for the federal government will be subject to future federal budget constraints. The BLS projects employment of atmospheric scientists to grow by 8 percent over the 2018 to 2028 period. The largest employers of atmospheric scientists and meteorologists are the federal government, research and development organizations in the physical, engineering, and life sciences, state colleges and universities and television broadcasting services.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are approximately 324,600 electrical and electronics engineers in the U.S. workforce. Workers in this large engineering occupation can be grouped into two large components — electrical engineers and electronics engineers. About 188,300 electrical engineers design, develop, test or supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as power generation equipment, electrical motors, radar and navigation systems, communications, systems and the electrical systems of aircraft and automobiles. They also design new ways to use electricity to develop or improve products. Approximately 136,300 electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment such as broadcast and communications equipment, portable music players, and Global Positioning System devices, as well as working in areas closely related to computer hardware. Engineers whose work is devoted exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers. Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree, and internships and co-op experiences are a plus.

The number of jobs for electrical engineers is projected by BLS to grow slightly faster (9 percent) than the average for all engineering occupations in general (8 percent) and faster than for electronics engineers (4 percent) as well. However, since electrical and electronics engineering is a larger STEM occupation, growth in employment is projected to result in over 21,000 new jobs over the 2016-2026 period. The largest employers of electrical engineers are engineering services firms; telecommunications firms; the federal government; electric power generation, transmission and distribution organizations such as public and private utilities; semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturers; organizations specializing in research and development (R&D) in the physical, engineering and life sciences; and navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control systems manufacturers.

BLS notes three major factors influencing the demand for electrical and electronic engineers. One, the need for technological innovation will increase the number of jobs in R&D, where their engineering expertise will be needed to design power distribution systems related to new technologies. They will also play important roles in developing solar arrays, semiconductors and communications technologies, such as 5G. Two, the need to upgrade the nation’s power grids and transmission components will drive the demand for electrical engineers. Finally, a third driver of demand for electrical and electronic engineers is the design and development of ways to automate production processes, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and Distributed Control Systems (DCS).

Data Science and Data Analysts
Technological advances have made it faster and easier for organizations to acquire data. Coupled with improvements in analytical software, companies are requiring data in more ways and higher quantities than ever before, and this creates many important questions for them, including “Who do we hire to work with this data”? The answer is likely a Data Scientist.

When trying to answer the question “what is data science,” Investopedia defines it as providing “meaningful information based on large amounts of complex data or big data. Data science, or data-driven science, combines different fields of work in statistics and computation to interpret data for decision-making purposes.” This includes data engineers, operations research analysts, statisticians, data analysts and mathematicians.

The BLS projects the employment of statisticians and mathematicians to grow 30 percent from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. According to the source, organizations will increasingly need statisticians to organize and analyze data in order to help improve business processes, design and develop new products and advertise products to potential customers. In addition, the large increase in available data from global internet use has created new areas for analysis such as examining internet search information and tracking the use of social media and smartphones. In the medical and pharmaceutical industries, biostatisticians will be needed to conduct the research and clinical trials necessary for companies to obtain approval for their products from the Food and Drug Administration.

Along with that of statistician, the employment of operations research analysts is projected by the BLS to grow by 26 percent from 2018-2028, again much faster than the average for all occupations. As organizations across all economic sectors look for efficiency and cost savings, they seek out operations research analysts to help them analyze and evaluate their current business practices, supply chains and marketing strategies in order to improve their ability to make wise decisions moving forward. Operations research analysts are also frequently employed by the U.S. Armed Forces and other governmental groups for similar purposes.

To learn more about other flourishing careers in STEM, visit bls.gov/ooh to learn more.

Source: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

How VR is Helping Train the U.S. Military

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woman soldier in uniform donning VR goggles

Futuristic training, the kind of immersive simulations seen in sci-fi TV shows, is no longer a fictional dream. It’s almost here.

With the Tech Training Transformation team’s creation of a virtual reality training system coordinated by artificial intelligence, Air Education and Training Command officials are transforming the Airmen development process. At the forefront of this development stand the cruxes of modern technology, high completion rates and an agile speed of learning.

In partnership with officials at Sheppard Air Force Base, the T3 team has re-engineered the foundational Crew Chief Fundamentals Course into a VR experience. In July and August of 2020, 29 students donned VR gear and took the program for a spin. They examined tools, maintained simulated aircraft and completed objectives, all within a 3D, on-the-job environment.
 
The results were impressive. On the end-of-course assessment, scores from students within the program were comparable to those of students using traditional methods. However, both students and instructors commented on the quality of T3’s program, emphasizing how Airmen-centric and approachable the program made the training, and how the personalized modalities built upon AETC’s world-class standards of quality. They also finished the course 46 percent faster, completing the 27-day course in just 12.5 days.

“It’s proven that T3’s program is an effective learning model,” said Senior Master Sgt. Toby Caldwell, 362nd Training Squadron assistant superintendent, who has been actively involved in overseeing T3’s training initiative at Sheppard AFB since the program’s beginning. “As we continue to meet the accelerate-change mission, we in the training environment are teaming up at the forefront of technological enhancements.”

In June 2021, T3 introduced an additional component: non-player characters. Students interact with AI Airmen by asking them questions and receiving instructions within the simulation. For example, a student maintaining an aircraft could have a conversation with an AI security forces Airman patrolling the flight line and learn about safety protocols or ask questions about the area.

This AI interaction will assist with the formation of multi-capable Airmen and agile combat employment, as students will have the ability to essentially swap places with AI characters. A maintainer can learn basic flight line security from an AI security forces Airman, or a security forces Airman could enter the program and familiarize themselves with aircraft maintenance from AI.

The AI system will also continuously measure the student’s ability to complete tasks and foundational competencies, and it will track performance throughout the Airman’s career, not just during technical training. This education-focused career model relies fully on competency-based learning and an Airmen-centric, mission-focused mindset that meets the students where they are.

woman soldier in uniform demonstrates a virtual reality training
Air Force Staff Sgt. Renee Scherf, Detachment 23 curriculum engineer, MC-130H subject matter expert, demonstrates a virtual reality training system. (Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt Keith James)

The T3 team is developing and testing an app for courses that don’t require VR. In the future, Airmen will log in on their phone and begin consuming course information according to their preferred learning style. For example, visual learners can watch videos and audio learners can listen from anywhere, even while on a run. Along the way, the AI capability will personalize the program. For instance, it will provide suggestions like, “Hey, I’ve noticed you listened to the lesson three times but still haven’t scored well on the assessment. Why don’t you try watching this video or completing this exercise instead?”

“This training is all about you,” said Maj. Jesse Johnson, Det 23 and T3 commander. “We’re no longer making you fit our content, we’re changing our content to match your needs. Not only does this program give more resources to students, it also keeps up with a new generation of learners who perform best outside of a traditional classroom. It allows for continued learning and the formation of multi-capable Airmen who can cross-train and expand their skillset anytime, anywhere.”

According to Johnson, this program will bring Air Force training to the cutting edge of education around the globe. He and his colleagues credit this success to the strong network of partnerships across the Air Force.

“Our plan is to partner with Air Combat Command’s Agile Battle Labs and with AETC’s Force Development Team to develop the agile combat employment, multi-capable Airmen training philosophy,” said Col. Leonard Rose, AETC’s Analysis and Innovation director.

The T3 team views training instructors, or force generators, as a first line of partnership. The initiative aims to empower instructors by eliminating the need to lecture at length, allowing them to focus on facilitating and answering questions instead of fitting into the typical “teacher” mold.

This kind of student-centered instruction flips the traditional teaching method, where instructors stand at the center of the learning process distributing information to students, on its head. In a student-centric model, students have the power to explore and learn through discovery and practice while instructors act as mentors and coaches.

Learner-centric initiatives and an improved training infrastructure speed up the training pipeline by allowing Airmen to progress at the speed of learning. It’s creating more well-rounded Airmen who are better prepared for an era of great power competition, and developing a more resilient training enterprise that can continue to operate in disrupted environments.
 
“We’re excited to continue utilizing virtual and augmented reality to enhance our technical training courses here at Sheppard AFB,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason C. Groth, 82nd Training Group superintendent. “I think this type of training capability could also eventually be used to help train our multi-capable Airmen in austere locations.”

Plans are in place for two fully operational courses to launch at Sheppard AFB in 2022 with additional courses to follow. The two initial courses will be Crew Chief Fundamentals (2AX01 Air Force specialty code) and Logistics Planning (2G0X1 Air Force specialty code). The order for updates to training courses is determined according to requirements necessary to grow multi-capable Airmen.

Source: U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense

Top photo:  Air Force Staff Sgt. Renee Scherf, Detachment 23 curriculum engineer, MC-130H subject matter expert, dons virtual reality goggles. (Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Keith James)

How to Successfully Readjust to Civilian Life with a Career in Tech

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You volunteered, you served, and now you’re mustering out. What happens next? Returning to civilian life sounds easy on paper, but the reality of leaving the highly-structured, highly-disciplined military environment for one that’s completely open can be frustrating, discouraging and disorienting. Worse is the discovery that all of your practiced military tactics for addressing adversity may not get you anywhere.

In fact, your attention to detail, commitment to teamwork and willingness to go all-in may be received as off-putting, aggressive and overwhelming. What the heck? Add to this the age-old challenge that is finding a job. Or better yet, starting a career. The military promised career skills, and you built many good ones. But how do you apply them to the boggling ecosystem that is the civilian workforce? Where do you start? How do you get your foot in the door?

Funny how that info isn’t readily available.

HOLISTIC HELP FOR TRANSITIONING VETERANS
This is a dilemma that over 200,000 Veterans face every year. It adds enormous stress to their transition process and compounds traumas like PTSD, depression and anxiety. There are myriad U.S.-based organizations dedicated to helping Veterans through this process, but that creates another anxiety-inducing question: Which one to use?

Maurice Wilson, Navy Master Chief Officer (retired), identified this critical conundrum and, in 2010, created a solution: The REBOOT Workshop offered by NVTSI. REBOOT fills a gap that the military’s Transition Assistance Program isn’t designed to address: how to fully prepare exiting military personnel to find meaningful employment and a satisfactory lifestyle in the civilian workforce.

Best known for its three-week REBOOT workshop, NVTSI delivers an insightful and personalized program that equips Veterans with the emotional, psychological, social and professional skills they need to restructure and redefine their lives. The program includes three focus areas: Personal Identity, Lifestyle Transition and Career Transition. It addresses the personal and social aspects of transitioning to civilian life via research-based, outcome-driven methods drawn from career planning best practices and cognitive behavior techniques. NVTSI has a cadre of alumna who have used the REBOOT tools and techniques to craft successful civilian lives for themselves and their families.

A VETERAN-FOCUSED PARTNERSHIP
Even with the soft skills help that NVTSI provides, there’s still the question of getting hired. How do you overcome that hurdle? Every Veteran-focused organization (including NVTSI) has a list of Vet-friendly employers on their website. It’s also easy to find help creating resumes, tips on the interview process and a plethora of Vet-specific job fairs. All this information is helpful, but again, how does it get you in the door?

This problem found a perfect solution in the partnership between NVTSI and CCS Global Tech. NVTSI and CCS Global Tech give Veterans a solid path into the work world: NVTSI focuses on helping Veterans create a holistic vision for their future, while CCS Global Tech offers job placement in the tech sector for Veterans at varying experience levels.

Maybe you don’t know anything about technology or what you need to get into it. Or, maybe you’ve been in the tech industry for several years already and want to move up. How do you make that happen?

PUTTING VETERANS IN TECH JOBS
The ultimate goal of both NVTSI and CCS Global Tech is to help Veterans transition successfully out of the military and into civilian life. For all Veterans, securing a good job is a critical piece of the puzzle.

CCS Global Tech is a staffing company that makes the path to a new technology career more direct via their Veteran placement services. Their dedicated team connects qualified Veterans to positions that CCS Global Tech’s clients – companies like Microsoft, Facebook, the City of San Francisco, and others – need filled.

In other words, CCS Global Tech has the work, and they need people to fill the positions. It’s a matter of matching the right Veteran candidate to the right role.

The strong leadership skills, self-motivation and dedication to teamwork that helped Veterans succeed in the military also make them prime candidates for filling many tech roles, such as system administrators, network technicians and data conversion experts.

Veterans with security clearances are particularly well-positioned for cybersecurity roles, which are in high demand in today’s business environment.

HELPING VETERANS SUCCEED
But what if you don’t know anything about the tech sector? How do you get started? Or, what if you’re in an IT job and want to move up? CCS Global Tech has those contingencies covered. Its affiliate company, CCS Learning Academy (CCSLA), offers hands-on IT training that leverages military experience to equip individuals with a knowledge base and skillset that today’s top employers are looking for.

CCSLA was born out of what CCS Global Tech professionals were seeing in the marketplace, i.e., the growing need for well-trained, fully prepared technology professionals in the current workforce. Created by tech professionals for tech professionals, CCSLA carefully curates its course catalog to reflect current technology trends, in-demand applications and cornerstone IT know-how. The CCSLA team offers Veterans career advice and real-world information on how to map out successful career paths, what employers are looking for and how to position themselves for vibrant, lucrative, forward-focused employment.

The CCSLA team also keeps abreast of DoD Directives as well as other learning trends that help Veterans leverage their military backgrounds. They know how to help you leverage your military-specific experience to transition into today’s most in-demand tech careers. From cybersecurity and system administration to business intelligence and cloud computing, CCSLA’s focus is developing hire-worthy IT experts.

Both CCS Global Tech and CCSLA recognize the wealth of talent that transitioning Veterans can bring to the table. Many Vets hold security clearances and classifications required by city, state and federal entities, as well as big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and others. CCS Global Tech and CCSLA connect you to them.

CONTACT US!
After serving your country, taking off the uniform and returning to civilian life shouldn’t be a harrowing experience. NVTSI, CCS Global Tech, and CCSLA recognize the difficulties associated with this life change and its unique challenges. All three organizations are committed to helping Veterans maximize the skills, training and knowledge to create a forward-focused career that will carry them into the future. We want to see you succeed. We want to see you thrive.

CBS GLOBAL
If you’re looking for work in the technology sector, contact CCS Global Tech’s Veteran Placement team at veterans@ccsglobaltech.com. We’ll get to work finding your perfect position! If you need help mapping out your learning pathway in tech, email us or check out ccslearningacademy.com to get started.

Veterans Boost America’s Energy Workforce

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By Dan Brouillette, Secretary of Energy

When their service ends, our veterans should be able to count on a healthy economy with ample job opportunities in the wide variety of fields for which they are suited.

The energy sector of our economy is one for which veterans are well-prepared by their military service. There are jobs ranging from oil and gas drilling and powerline work to ensuring security at our nuclear energy sites and installing renewable energy systems. Both the public and private sectors see the value of hiring veterans and are taking strides to assist with their transition to civilian life.

A well-educated, prepared workforce – one that also includes highly-skilled veterans – is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in scientific discovery and innovation. And the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cannot carry out our mission for energy, environment, and national security without such a workforce.

An example of an outstanding public sector program is Solar Ready Vets, launched as a pilot by DOE in 2014 to connect our nation’s skilled veterans to the industry by preparing them for careers as solar photovoltaic system installers, sales reps, system inspectors, and other solar jobs. After graduating 526 students in 10 states, the program, which was enabled by the U.S. Department of Defense’s SkillBridge initiative, was expanded into the Solar Ready Vets Network, a group of relevant workforce development programs to connect veterans and transitioning military service members with careers in the sector.

On the private side, one program I got to learn about firsthand is a collaboration between

Duke Energy and Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) in North Carolina. As part of Duke’s Veteran Hiring Initiative, FTCC runs a training program to help veterans gain the training to become skilled electrical linemen and eventually enter the workforce. During a visit to Fayetteville, I watched a lineman training demonstration and met with several program participants. Each was eager to continue serving his or her community by doing this critical work.

The Department of Energy is committed to supporting and empowering American workers, especially servicemembers separating from active duty. We are proud to employ more than 4,600 veterans, and the number continues to grow. In 2020, one in every three new DOE hires has been a veteran, and we consistently receive “exemplary” ratings from the Interagency Council on Veterans Employment for hiring and retaining veterans.

We are committed to ensuring veterans continue to play a key role in our Nation’s energy workforce to secure a safe, prosperous future for our country.

Veterans and transitioning service members can find more information about our STEM workforce programs on energy.gov.

Source: Energy.gov

MedTechVets Now Accepting Applications for Spring 2021 MedTechVets Academy: Opportunity for Veterans to Gain and Practice Professional Skills

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MedTechVets, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists and prepares transitioning service members and military veterans for meaningful employment in medical device and life science companies, recently announced enrollment for its spring 2021 MedTechVets Academy program for transitioning active-duty service members and veterans.

This Academy is for military veterans who are within six months of your separation, or an honorably discharged and is a free virtual 6-week program supporting career transition to the device, biotech, and life services industries.

Veterans will have the opportunity to improve their professional skills and job prospects by participating in personal branding workshops, mock interviews, and learning networking do’s and don’ts, which are available through the 2021 MedTech Vets Academy. Participants will be selected via online applications and will also receive editing assistance on their resumes and cover letters, support from mentors to identify industry gaps that apply to their unique skill set, and resources that help them identify those job opportunities. Additionally, the academy will teach skills, knowledge, and confidence to set attendees up for workforce success.

The deadline to apply to the 2021 MedTechVets Academy is 5:00pm PT on Friday, April 2nd— and the program is slated to begin on April 6, 2021. NOTE: The applications of those not selected for the spring 2021 Academy cohort will be saved for the summer program and supported through that process.

Please visit https://medtechvets.org/academy/ to apply and learn more.

About MedTechVets
MedTechVets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists and prepares transitioning service members and military veterans for meaningful employment in medical device and life science companies. MedTechVets’ network has grown to nearly 100 life science and medical device companies, hundreds of mentors, and thousands of veterans.

MedTechVets is endorsed by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).

Announcing the 2021 VetsinTech Invasion National Conference – All-Star Lineup With More Than 30 Top Tech Companies

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Young soldier in military wear keeping arms crossed and smiling

VetsinTech, the leading national non-profit dedicated to advancing career opportunities for veterans in the tech industry, announced its “VetsinTech Invasion 2021” national conference. 

Scheduled to take place April 17th and 18th, VetsinTech’s Invasion 2021 assembles more than 30 of the top tech companies in Silicon Valley and beyond. In its fourth year, hundreds of veterans and their spouses from all over the country will participate in a one-of-a-kind gathering that brings together leading tech giants and veterans to provide networking opportunities in education, employment, and entrepreneurship in tech.

Luminary keynote speakers at the VetsinTech’s Invasion 2021 include:

  • The Honorable Denis Richard McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who President Biden appointed in February 2021. He also served as Chief of Staff under former President Obama.
  • Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors. Previously, Michèle served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy under the Obama administration. She was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense.
  • Steve Blank, Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. Steve developed the customer development methodology that spawned the Lean Startup movement.
  • Craig Newmark, Founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, VetsinTech Board member and a leading advocate for veterans and military families.

Sponsors of the VetsinTech Invasion 2021 include Disney, Elastic, Google, Wounded Warrior Project, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Nasdaq, Tibco, and Uber.

Meeting the DEI Challenge with Military Veterans

VetsinTech provides an unmatched national technology ecosystem supported by innovative programs in employment, education and entrepreneurship. With diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) a top concern in Silicon Valley and across the country, companies recognize that veterans are an untapped source of highly skilled talent who can help them meet the hiring challenge.

“This year’s conference is truly groundbreaking with a large number of leading tech companies, phenomenal keynotes, and industry speakers that we’ve lined up to support our exceptionally qualified veterans. This ‘show of force’ demonstrates a strong commitment by the VetsinTech Employer Coalition to meet DEI goals while also filling the critical gap in technology talent,” said Katherine Webster, Founder and CEO of VetsinTech.

At the VetsinTech Invasion 2021, veterans will get to hear and communicate virtually with executives from Silicon Valley’s most successful technology companies, venture capital firms, recruiters and HR, and engineers who will lead workshops, speak in panels and participate in networking events. Veterans and their spouses can meet and mingle with VetsinTech’s world-class coalition partners, which can be found here.

About VetsInTech

Based in San Francisco, with more than 50,000 vets strong and 20 chapters across the country, VetsInTech is the leading national non-profit devoted 100% to springboarding veterans into tech careers. VetsinTech harnesses the national technology ecosystem to benefit veterans returning from active military duty and who want to apply their exceptional training, skills, and experience to a new technology career. Comprising technology industry leaders and former service members, VetsinTech is the only non-profit supporting our veterans through tech-based programs and opportunities in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. For more information, interested parties can visit www.vetsintech.co.

12 Veterans Launch e-Learning Technology and Mobile App diversitypop for D&I

LinkedIn
soldier typing on his smartphone

In light of the nationwide discussions around diversity and inclusion, racial equality, and political uncertainty, 12 veterans from exceptionally diverse backgrounds have launched a new, effective, unbiased learning technology and mobile app. 

The diversitypop™ program is built for organizations as an anonymous system to deliver diversity training to people on the go, deploying a range of repeatable digital experiences that mirror the inclusivity experience that the founders experienced over thirty years ago.

“When America’s service academy graduates were trained for diversity and inclusion in the 1980’s, they did so via immersive experiences and intense interactions with people not like themselves,” said Drew Bartkiewicz, one of the 12 co-founders of diversitypop, who developed product inspiration from his tenure at salesforce.com in the early 2000s. “They learned at a young age that ‘inclusion was an infusion,’ not only to the mind of the individual but to the effectiveness of the team itself. And now, over thirty years later, we formed a company to deliver that learning experience and repeatable diversity training enabled with the scalability of technology.”

Although diversity training programs are usually well intended, a study out of the University of Toronto showed these programs can actually increase bias among employees. This is because they publicly force outside ideas about the value of diversity onto employees and imply that the employees don’t have the freedom to think about these issues on their own terms.

The diversitypop mobile app and underlying technology apply algorithms and personalization, leveraging information sciences, “clean” artificial intelligence, and cognitive learning methods that are increasingly the epicenter of modern learning. The diversitypop goal is to train the brain for diversity and inclusion without the friction and slowness of traditional methods.

“As evidenced by the events of 2020, we are all reminded that diversity is only a goal on the organization chart if we do not individually tap into our inclusion instincts,” said John Tien, co-founder of diversitypop and Rhodes Scholar. “What started for us as a mission to improve our leadership skills turned into a mandate to help people grow the greatest life skill there is: inclusion.”

As a result, diversitypop will make the technology available to all high schools for free, as the need for remote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) technology has reached a new high point with remote learning and an increasingly diverse American population. As for businesses, the diversitypop team will invite business leaders to experience the programming as a 30-day free trial for their organizations.

The diversitypop program lets members discover topics, surveys, and tests to grow their inclusive skills and uncover potential areas of their own implicit biases. Without the need for any personally identifiable information, and in contrast with the personal data needs of social media and enterprise software, diversitypop builds and helps sustain personal diversity and inclusion skills with:

  • Smart notifications on the new aspects of the diversity wheel, an academic area of study that has emerged as a discovery tool to see and live diversity more broadly
  • Personalized content about cultures, race, gender, disabilities, and a range of other topics
  • Interactive PopScores that gamify and offer tools to grow inclusion instincts
  • Administrative level to allow DEI leaders to customize diversitypop to their goals and measurements

About diversitypop
The diversitypop team was formed among 12 diverse co-founders who had a common thread: they were exposed early in life to diverse people, situations, and ideas, forever shaping their habits to seek people and build teams “not like themselves.” The diversitypop system is designed with emerging methods in cognitive learning and neuroplasticity, using pop media, surveys and trivia as a means to increase the surface area of diversity and inclusion intelligence for millions of people. For more information, visit diversitypop.com or follow diversitypop on Twitter @diversitypopapp and LinkedIn.

Source: diversitypop

From Section Leader to Software Engineer

LinkedIn
Cody Baerman pictured with his wife in him fatigues

How I utilized my G.I. Bill benefits to launch a career in coding.

By Cody Baermann

I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years as a section leader in the infantry. I supervised training for a team of 20, identified and worked on potential deficiencies in our unit, and was a direct adviser to senior management. I was stationed in Afghanistan, behind a machine gun. It was a very different world.

Before I got into coding, right after getting out of the Marine Corps, I was a full-time college student. I was going job to job and was having a hard time deciding exactly what I wanted to do. I changed my major three times – from chemistry to electrical engineering to biology. The only common denominator in all those majors was that they all required a basic coding class.

My wife and I sat down to discuss the aspects of school that I enjoyed the most. All things pointed toward coding. One of the biggest appeals to me is having the ability to create whatever I want – having that freedom to make visualizations come to life. Our daughter was very young, so there was the aspect of my family leaning on me.

From a financial perspective, many coding bootcamps are covered under GI Bill benefits, including Coding Dojo. It was an all-or-nothing situation – just believing in my abilities, and knowing as a family we would work out.

Coding Dojo had an introductory platform they strongly suggested learning: basic algorithms, getting used to the syntax of code. After that, we built programs, which was a whole different level of coding. I did the “follow-alongs” to get the programs to work.

The biggest obstacle I hit was understanding the syntax in the C# track. In those times, if the material doesn’t immediately make sense, you have to put in the work hours. Coding bootcamp is very condensed – you have to put in the time if you want to succeed. It involved a lot of repetition, reworking the same assignments, until the material cemented in my brain.

Coding Dojo had a “20/20 rule”: Stay with a problem for 20 minutes, then ask a partner to help you figure it out. If the two of you can’t do that after 20 minutes, then ask an instructor. The rule promotes teamwork. Once you get into software engineering and development, that’s an important skill to have. There was never a time we felt the coursework was too much, because there was always someone to lean on and solicit help from.

I was anxious as graduation approached. Obviously, with a family, I wanted to get employment right away, so I put the pressure on myself. I sent the same resume to every company – which isn’t the soundest strategy. The key is looking closely at the job description, noting the language they use, incorporating those words, and then tailoring some of your personal projects to that job. Having multiple projects that you can interchange on a resume is important. If you’re applying for a Python developer position, instead of just having one Python project on there, you should list two or three. It proves how well-versed you are in that language.

After a while in the job hunt, Amazon Web Services came out of the blue and they moved very quickly. The second they got in contact, everything just took off. I did a Chime interview, and then after three or four days, I got a phone call with the job offer. It was a big stress reliever to get that call.

When you’re in a military bootcamp, you don’t have a choice to be there. You wake up whenever they want to wake you up, doing whatever they want you to do. In coding bootcamp, you are in charge of your own success. You have to get up and make yourself do it. You have to be self-accountable to succeed; if you don’t, it’s going to be difficult.

The best approach is to be focused and put in the long hours. The more you learn, the easier getting a job will be. You’re going to coding bootcamp to better your life and your family’s future. There will always be self-doubt and challenges. It’s not easy jamming years of learning into just a few months. But once I got going, there was never a point when I thought I couldn’t do it. You just have to fight your way through and be mentally strong. That’s the nature of coding.

Meet the Two Veterans Leading the First Mission Back to Space

LinkedIn
Colonels Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley crossing their arms in front of the Dragon spacecraft

In 2011, Marine Colonel Doug Hurley served as the pilot of the last U.S. space shuttle mission aboard the Atlantis. Upon their arrival, the United States has since used Russian rockets to send astronauts into the cosmos. But nearly ten years later, this is all about to change.

On April 17, NASA announced the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft, the first manned space vehicle to launch from U.S. soil since the Atlantis’ return. The mission will be commanded under Hurley alongside Air Force Colonel and Endeavour veteran Bob Behnken. The Shuttle is set to launch tentatively on May 27 and will be taking off from the Kennedy Space Station in Florida.

The two men have had their fair share of space time, both having gone to space at least two times. Behnken was aboard the Endeavour in 2008 and 2010, while Hurley served on the Endeavour in 2009 and the Atlantis in 2011. Being no stranger to the stars, the two men have been assigned the roles of joint commanders on the mission, with Hurley serving as the craft’s commander, responsible for the launch and landing of the rocket, while Behnken will be in charge of rendezvous and the docking and undocking of the vehicle at the space station.

Should the launch commence on May 27, as planned, this would also be the first time in history that NASA used a privately owned and operated spacecraft to send astronauts into orbit. The Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft are currently owned and operated by SpaceX, created by Elon Musk.

The May 27th mission, though monumental, is not the only plan for a U.S. vehicle to be launched from U.S. soil. NASA announced it is currently in a partnership with Boeing to create another manned space vehicle. However, this project was put on hold due to the setbacks Boeing suffered from the Starliner space craft.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. Multiple Hire GI Hiring Events During June-December!
    June 21, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  4. San Diego Unified Construction Expo 2022
    July 13, 2022
  5. Business Beyond Barriers Conference + Expo
    July 14, 2022