Three Ways Veterans Can Hone Their Skills After Service

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By Kurt Ballash, owner of Ballash Woodworks
Military veterans are a special talent pool because we learn valuable skills that set us apart from other candidates in the workforce.

During the pandemic, the veteran unemployment rate has hovered around 5%, but there are boundless opportunities, programs and outreach groups that can help veterans hone their skills, find a job or identify an upskilling program that is best for them.

Fayetteville, N.C., which is home to the largest U.S. Army base and Army Special Operations Command, has more than 7,000 veterans entering the workforce each year. One area of opportunity for employment across the country is skilled trade jobs. A recent study found that nearly 400,000 skilled trade jobs had posted from the pandemic’s onset in March 2020 through February 2021. As veterans consider this pathway after service, they should leverage workshops, apprenticeship programs and military-friendly programs at local colleges and universities to identify the trade that is right for them.

Participate in a Workshop

Studies have shown that creative hobbies, such as woodworking, can be an effective avenue to help veterans cope with the battle scars associated with years of combat service and to help overcome PTSD. A creative workshop is also a great starting point in identifying your strengths because it’s a short-term commitment; it’s inexpensive, and it’s a fun way to learn something new.

These are a few of the reasons why I started hosting workshops at Ballash Woodworks. We’re a Fayetteville-based small business that specializes in handcrafted wood furniture, and we’ve also become a place for veterans and their families to come together for support and healing. Our workshops teach the art of woodworking, which brings veterans together through a shared trade.

Consider an Apprenticeship Program

While workshops are a great way to test the waters with new skills, apprenticeship programs take this a step further. Companies partner with workforce development organizations and education institutions to create structured programs that provide jobs to trainees as they perfect their skills over a 3- or 4-year time frame. Glassdoor says that 91% of apprentices are hired full-time at the end of their programs.

ApprenticeshipNC is busier than ever during the pandemic, as military personnel are pursuing 91E Allied Trade Specialist certifications. With this certification, apprentices can master the art of welding, machining, carpentry or one of hundreds of other trades. In North Carolina, the average program pays about $36,100 annually. The Department of Labor also approved a woodwork manufacturing specialist apprenticeship program, so industry apprentices who complete the program can receive a national, industry-recognized credential as a registered woodwork manufacturing specialist.

Ask Your Local Colleges About Their Military Programs

One of the reasons why veterans stay in Fayetteville after service is because of the access we have to military-friendly education programs and support networks with our neighbors and veterans. Victory, a media company that connects the military community to civilian employment, releases an annual ranking of the country’s most military-friendly education institutions based on factors such as student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, loan default rates and persistence to advanced degrees. It ranked Fayetteville Technical Community College in the Top 10. Have a look at programs near you. You might qualify for scholarships and have access to resources that help ease the transition from military life to campus life.

Transitioning out of the military can be a tough road, but finding a new career that will bring you joy doesn’t have to be. Opportunities at local colleges and the experts behind apprenticeship programs can help guide the way to your next path and arm you with the training needed to get there.

Woodworking is in the Ballash blood. As a child, Kurt spent afternoons in the shop where his father and grandfather crafted custom cabinets, and Kurt developed an unspoken love for the process of turning lumber into one-of-a-kind creations. When Kurt returned to Fayetteville, N.C. after serving his country, he decided to share his love for woodworking with the community by opening up Ballash Woodworks. Veteran entrepreneurs are strong contributors to the growing Cumberland County workforce, and he immediately felt a kinship to the other veterans in the region by sharing his passion with others.

ballashwoodworks.com

It’s All About Service: 4 Tips for Finding the Right Entrepreneurial Fit

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By Matt Noe

A commonality among veterans is the entrepreneurial spirit that is cultivated through the discipline and skillset that comes with being in the military. These skills include determination, relationship-building, being process-oriented and having a passion for service, which can be easily be transferred into establishing and running a business.

When deciding what to do next after making the ultimate decision of returning home and departing from my active role in the military, I knew I had to be selective and had a laundry list of considerations to keep in mind. I relied heavily on my experience and skills to help find the best fit. Through a lot of my research, it became clear that franchising was the right route for me, and ultimately stumbled upon a drug testing franchise, Fastest Labs, which checked every box I was personally looking to fulfill in this venture.

While the transition back into a more traditional career after being in the military for over 4 years can be an adjustment, I want to share a handful of tips for recent veterans who are vetting opportunities and looking to take that next step, all of which served as a guiding light through this new, riveting venture.

Ask how you can give back to your community
When looking for the perfect business, there are a lot of options to consider, especially in franchising. Ranging from gyms, security companies, manufacturing businesses to restaurant concepts — the options can often be overwhelming at first. When in the first phases of narrowing down your options, I always kept my experiences in the military and deep-rooted appreciation for serving others. This was an aspect of my history with the military, I knew I had to carry into my new business — whatever it may be. Finding what motivates you can help in finding a business that provides a valuable, unique service to the community. One thing that drew me to Fastest Labs was how much it felt like a family. That support system and how well the business is run was a huge driving factor in why I decided to open a Fastest Labs in 2020. Local businesses play an integral role in one’s community, and asking how you can help support it is critical. It is important to look for values in not only the offerings of the concept, but the overall business model, reflect your own. These values play a major role in how you will be supported, which trickles down to the impact you will have on your community.

Search for an industry you have a baseline understanding of
Tapping into your past experience can assist you when considering your next industry for work. There is definitely room to grow and learn, but jumping head first into business ownership can be eased if you understand — or have some level of personal experience — with the industry, even if it’s from the consumer perspective. Coming from a military background, routine and surprise drug tests were part of the equation. When opening up a Fastest Labs, there was a comfort in having knowledge of how the business worked as well as a motivation to learn as much about the industry as possible. Look for an industry that you find interesting and build off of that in your search.

Focus on the skills required not the tasks you’ll complete
When starting a business, the lists of tasks can be intimidating. There were various classes and certifications that were needed before opening up Fastest Labs of Columbus, Ga. not to mention learning and instilling the best practices behind running a successful company. I knew that my military training and experiences — such as delegation, multitasking and problem-solving — would provide an impactful foundation for running and growing a successful business. When you’re looking for a next step in your career, try to not get hung up on the technical tasks required, rather, focus on the skills needed to be successful, and you’ll see the boxes being checked off naturally.

Have the hard discussions early
Money can be a sensitive topic, and it can be hard to factor it into the conversation when your heart is already sold on an idea, which is why your realistic budget should be top-of-mind from the very beginning. It is also important to do your research, because costs can differ depending on what franchises you are considering — think about every aspect of the business and what will be required for you to invest. Knowing that entrepreneurship was on the table, my fiancé and I began to save while I was still overseas, which allowed us to open our business in record time (six weeks) and hit the ground running, even amid the pandemic. Taking financials into consideration is key, and making a plan on how to spend and save early will surely be a pillar in your success story.

About the Author
Matt Noe is the Owner and Operator of Fastest Labs of Columbus, Ga. Noe started his career in the military and served multiple tours overseas with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, as well as the 10th Mountain Division. After the military, Noe served as a government contractor. Noe greatly enjoyed serving his country but had dreams to pursue entrepreneurship. While oversees, Noe searched for the perfect franchisee opportunity for him and was drawn to the family-like atmosphere that he found in Fastest Labs. Noe opened the Columbus, Ga. location in 2020 and manages and operates the business with his fiancé, Rebecca.

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Awards $9.2 Million in Scholarships, Appoints New President and CEO

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The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation announced it will award more than $9.2 million in academic scholarships to over 2,500 children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen for the 2021-2022 academic year. This historic announcement comes as the Scholarship Foundation appoints Ted Probert as its new President and CEO.

“I’m humbled and honored to lead the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation into its next chapter,” said Ted Probert. “For nearly 60 years, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has kept its promise to never leave the child of a Marine behind. I strongly support this commitment and look forward to working with this extraordinary team to broaden our reach and impact.”

Ted joined the Scholarship Foundation in 2018 as the Executive Vice President, Development. Serving in the Marine Corps Reserves for 21 years, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2014. Ted brings over 29 years of development experience to the Scholarship Foundation, highlighted by his time at Phillips Exeter Academy as both campaign director for The Exeter Initiatives, which raised $352 million, and the Director of Institutional Advancement.

“The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is stronger today than at any time in its nearly 60-year history,” said Chairman of the Board and 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert B. Neller. “Ted Probert has a strong proven track record of tirelessly working to accomplish the Scholarship Foundation’s mission of helping the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen who serve with Marines to get advanced education and training. We are excited and confident that his passion for the Scholarship Foundation, leadership, vision, and experience will allow the Scholarship Foundation to continue to grow and have an even greater impact for the Marine and Navy families we serve.”

A financial need-based scholarship, the Scholarship Foundation’s recipients reflect the diversity characteristic of the United States Marine Corps: students from all walks of life who are destined for leadership and service in a variety of professional fields. Scholarship Foundation recipients are top-tier scholars with a 90% overall graduation rate, well above national performance averages. Notably, 40% of recipients are first-generation college students and 45% pursue STEM degrees.

Messages of gratitude have poured in from recipients who are glad to be moving forward after a challenging year. “You have allowed me to focus on the most important aspect of college, learning, without the burden of student loans,” said Jake Lane, a rising junior at the University of Michigan and son of a veteran Marine. “I am eternally grateful for your kind-hearted and generous spirit and one day hope to change someone’s life in the way you have changed mine.”

About the Scholarship Foundation: Established in 1962, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the Nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships for military children. Since its inception, the Scholarship Foundation has provided nearly 50,000 scholarships worth $155 million to the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen. For more information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, please visit www.mcsf.org.

SOURCE Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Warrior-Scholar Project Empowers Student Veterans to Succeed

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By Kristen Baker-Geczy

For many enlisted veterans, college is a critical next step in acclimating to civilian life and landing a fulfilling career after transitioning from military service. While this is an exciting new chapter, many find the adjustment to college to be a challenging experience, especially without the support and camaraderie they had while in the service.

If you’re planning to earn your undergraduate degree after separating, or are already enrolled and feel like you could use some guidance, Warrior-Scholar Project can help!

Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) is a national nonprofit that empowers enlisted veterans and service members to excel at four-year universities through immersive one- to two-week academic boot camps at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities — including Yale, Harvard, Notre Dame, University of Southern California and Texas A&M, among many others. The nonprofit also offers workshops tailored to address the unique needs of veterans enrolled in community college. Offered at no cost to veterans and enlisted active-duty service members, the programs are designed to introduce veterans to college-level material and an academic environment while learning strategies to become better students.

During a WSP academic boot camp, participants are taught by university faculty and graduate students at the host institution with support from highly-successful student veteran fellows who have completed the program. Students are introduced to analytic reading, writing and other academic and everyday skills crucial to success in higher education. The curriculum also helps veterans adjust to life on campus and learn how to effectively engage in the classroom. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to learn about the many challenges student veterans experience during their transition to college, including the complex university application and admission process.

The introductory academic experience has a lasting impact: Ninety-nine percent of 2020 WSP participants recommend WSP to fellow veterans, and 97 percent indicated that they are more confident they will succeed in college.

“The opportunity at Yale University was life-changing as it provided me with a newfound confidence in my academic future. Learning various tools such as note-taking, essay writing and breaking problems into steps helped ease my mind that the transition from Warrior to Scholar will now be a whole lot easier. Being at Yale and being surrounded by peers and fellows who currently attend prestigious universities also helped me realize that the same future isn’t impossible for me.” — James Ines, WSP-Yale University alumnus

Apply Today!
Warrior-Scholar Project is now accepting applications for its summer 2021 academic boot camps happening between June 6 and August 13. With partners at colleges nationwide, student veterans have the unique opportunity to learn from esteemed university faculty in humanities, STEM and/or business curriculum focuses. Additionally, Warrior-Scholar Project will host its first-ever All-Woman Cohort, a one-week humanities course, at Yale University this summer in an effort to create more female and feminine spaces that are inclusive and empowering for women veterans.

Veterans looking to jumpstart their education can learn more about the program and apply at warrior-scholar.org. To ensure you have the most accurate programming information, please visit the website for up-to-date academic boot camp schedules.

Warrior-Scholar Project’s academic boot camps are exclusively for current and former enlisted service members who are intent on pursuing higher education. Typically, student veterans enjoy the full college experience from staying in dorms to eating in the dining hall to studying in the historic libraries of the host institution. With the exception of travel (if applicable), these courses are offered at no cost to the student veteran participant. WSP intends to return to on-site programming for summer 2021. However, due to pandemic-related uncertainties, WSP is unable to guarantee that all programming will be offered on site. Additionally, WSP will offer a virtual programming component. In the event that on site programming is deemed unsafe, WSP will keep applicants informed if those programs are converted to the virtual platform.

Warrior-Scholar Project has partnered with the following universities for 2021:
Yale University — Humanities and STEM course
Georgetown University — Humanities course
University of Arizona — Humanities and STEM course
Princeton University — Humanities and STEM course
University of Pennsylvania — Humanities course
University of Notre Dame — Humanities and Business course
Texas A&M — Humanities and STEM course
Pomona College — Humanities course
Columbia University — Humanities and STEM course
Harvard University — Humanities course
University of Michigan — Humanities course
Massachusetts Institute of Technology — STEM course
Syracuse University — Humanities course
Williams College — Humanities course
Cornell University— Humanities course
University of Southern California — Humanities and Business course
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Humanities course
Amherst College — Humanities course
University of Chicago — Humanities course
California Institute of Technology — STEM course
University of California, Irvine — Humanities course

To view the most up-to-date programming schedule, for more information, and to apply, visit warrior-scholar.org.

Why Veterans Are Great Assets in Construction

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construction hard hat, glove and level pictured with us flag

By Natalie Rodgers

The experience veterans have gained are widely transferable to a variety of fields, but one of the greatest post-service jobs that a veteran can pursue is in the construction field.

Here are five reasons why veterans should consider the construction field and recruiters should be hiring them:

Veterans are Disciplined

To ensure the safety and integrity of any building project, construction workers need to be strict in the areas of precision while following a firm guideline. Military veterans are no stranger to heavy consequences and are specifically trained to follow orders and complete tasks under dire stress or pressure. Their ability to follow through with precision allows for construction projects to be done properly first time without error.

Veterans Have the Skillset

No matter how they served, all veterans are trained to lead, have quick problem-solving skills and stay organized in both appearance and circumstance. These attributes are important in any job field, but especially in one such as construction where the unexpected is to be expected. Many veterans were also trained in specialized fields such as computers, technology, specialized tools and equipment – all important skills in the construction industry.

Construction Provides a Smooth Transition

Along with the many similarities between the world of construction and military service, the construction industry’s communal aspect allows for a smooth transition for veterans. Not only will past military personnel be able to connect to the teamwork and comradery in this field, but they will also meet numerous other veterans already in the industry who understand the struggles of transitioning.

Veterans Know Teamwork

In every branch of the military, people from all races, genders, cultures, backgrounds and experiences come together to work for a greater cause. Veterans understand better than anyone the importance of putting aside differences to work as a team to complete a task. The world of construction is almost entirely collaborative and relies on the same need for communication and teamwork. This makes veterans more likely to have a smooth integration in their work environment and less likely to face issues in miscommunication.

Veterans are Quick to Learn

Unexpected changes and redirection are common in the construction industry. The sudden need to shift gears to adapt to a new game plan can be jarring for many people, but veterans are well equipped to handle changing plans. The strict, fast-paced nature of the military trains veterans to pick up on new tasks quickly and to problem-solve and think on their feet.

Whether you are a veteran looking for the next step in your career or an employer looking for the most qualified candidates for your team, veterans are equipped with the proper tools to make any construction project a success.

For more information on veterans in the construction industry, check out the following websites:

Veterans Build America: veteransbuilamerica.org

CareerOneStop’s occupation profiles: https://www.careeronestop.org/ExploreCareers/Learn/career-profiles.aspx

 

Five Things I Wish Service Members Knew Ahead of Their Civilian Transition

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By Lawren Bradberry, MBA

I remember how confident and prepared I felt when I transitioned from active duty service. But as soon as I put away my uniform, it hit me: I needed help navigating the difficult and oft-talked-about transition to civilian life. Connecting with other Veterans and Veteran service organizations helped me navigate life after military service. So much so, in fact, it motivated me to focus my career on transitioning service members and Veterans.
Unfortunately, many Veterans I wound up working with struggled to adjust to civilian life more than they expected. Many struggled to find their way, unaware of the many resources available to help them find their way after military service.
Each day, more than 500 service members will start their transition. To them and the thousands more who will eventually make the very same transition, I offer five pieces of proactive advice from my own personal experience:

1. Make the most of your education benefits and career training opportunities.
Veterans can use their education benefits to pay for training programs, so you should be sure to look into ways to maximize what you’re getting out of benefits. Keep in mind, however, that not all programs are covered in the same way, and not every program includes the same type of training or extra resources to aid you throughout your process. Since 2009, 773,000 Veterans and their family members have utilized these funds for programs ranging from technology to entrepreneurship to foreign affairs and so many more, so do your homework and research your options before making a decision.

2. Remember that every transition story is different.
While there are certainly some commonalities, no Veteran goes through their transition in the same way – each person has their own strengths and faces their own unique challenges. There is no right way to execute your transition and there’s no need to rush, so take all the time you need to adjust and find your new routine. One thing that took me a while, as silly as it might seem to some, was figuring out what to wear! I wore a uniform every single day for years, so I never even stopped to consider the endless options of what I could wear to work as a civilian, and what message that might communicate.

3. Take pride in what you bring to the table.
By the time you reach the end of your commitment, you may have led teams into life-or-death situations, made high-level decisions, or managed millions of dollars in equipment. Even though you may be starting your career later than your civilian peers, your experiences are unmatched in comparison. Learn to tell your story with confidence in a way that demonstrates the skills and experiences you gained in the military, and how they translate to future opportunities.

4. Keep your personal values in mind.
Just like the different branches of the military, every organization has its own unique culture. As you search for employment, take the time to learn about the mission and values of the organizations you’re interested in. Veterans often return home with a very specific set of core values and ideals, and it’s hard enough to make the transition to a different industry with its own cultural norms, so make sure your future workplace stands for values and ethics that align with your own.

5. Connect with your community and peers.
If you need help, ask! The process can be long, confusing and intimidating, but it’s important to know that there are people and organizations out there who want to help and have dedicated their own post-service careers to doing so. Just be careful to keep in mind what I mentioned earlier and to not measure yourself against others – everyone’s experience is different.

By doing each of these five things, I am confident that as service members work to close one door – at their own pace, of course – they will simultaneously open another full of security, opportunity and continued success.

Lawren Bradberry, MBA is a retired Army NCO and the Senior Manager of Military Programs at Galvanize, the nation’s leading provider of software engineering and data science training. More than 700 active-duty military and Veterans have used Galvanize training to get post-military tech jobs. For more information, visit Galvanize.com.

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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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.

Careers for Junior Military Officers through Orion Talent

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Free Career Placement Services for Transitioning Junior Military Officers

Are you a First Lieutenant, Lieutenant Junior Grade, Captain or Lieutenant preparing for your transition from Active Duty? Discover Orion Talent, the nation’s most trusted career partner to Junior Military Officers making the transition into Corporate America. Orion will help you with your transition into the civilian workforce by matching your skills and career goals with opportunities within America’s finest companies.

Orion is proud to work with world-leading companies who are committed to hiring top military talent. These companies realize the value that Veterans bring to the workforce and continually seek to add transitioning and former military service members to their ranks. Orion is the exclusive provider of Military Talent to many of our client companies, allowing you access to job opportunities that you otherwise would not have. Visit our Featured Employers page to learn more about the companies and some of the opportunities available for JMOs.

Visit Orion Talent today!
https://www.oriontalent.com/military-job-seekers/junior-military-officers/

Veteran Brings No. 1 Home Inspection Franchise to Hometown

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Lori and Dave Starnes closeup wearing blue work uniform

Sometimes you find a business opportunity that fits like a glove. That seems to be the case for Dave and Lori Starnes. The couple recently moved back home to the Adams/Clarksville, TN area from Hawaii and recently launched operations as new franchise owners with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®, the No. 1 home inspection franchise in North America.

Team Starnes Home Inspectors, LLC will serve homebuyers and sellers throughout Clarksville, as well as Hopkinsville, KY, and surrounding areas.

Dave retired from the United States Army after 26 years and had been a high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) instructor in Hawaii. He also ran his own handyman/general contracting business, while Lori was an operations/ property manager for 100 luxury vacation rental properties, in addition to running her own cleaning business. If it’s something related to homes, the couple has a pretty good handle on things, so becoming franchisees with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors was a natural fit. “Dave had been a handyman and general contractor for more than five years and worked directly with realtors in fixing and repairing many of the deficiencies discovered during the home inspection process,” Lori said. “He had a knack for finding and fixing those issues and we decided to join Pillar To Post Home Inspectors in order to provide professional home inspection services for current and future homebuyers throughout Clarksville and the surrounding areas.”

According to Pillar To Post Home Inspectors President and CEO Dan Steward, “We are rolling out some pretty amazing technologies that are now in full swing for all Pillar To Post Home Inspections. One of these is the PTP360 tour.” PTP360 is an interactive, virtual home inspection tour that allows users to revisit a home anytime and anywhere from a smartphone, tablet or desktop and even share the tour with family and friends. “It’s a great new innovation – fast-tracked to completion because of COVID-19 concerns – and we saw just how well it performed,” Steward said. Clients can also receive a measured FloorPlan of the entire home, with measurements to help with furniture fit and placement. “In the long term, PTP360 is a huge help for busy, professional Realtors, saving them time and better serving their seller, while also giving prospective buyers a far better experience,” Steward said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has achieved the highest standings in various rankings of “Best in Category,” “Top 20 Franchises to Buy,” “Top 10 Global Franchises” and “Top Franchises for Veterans” in addition to achieving 5-Star status with VetFran, a program offered by the International Franchise Association that provides discounted franchise fees to veterans. A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

Dave and Lori have two adult children who followed their father’s footsteps into the Army and their son, Russ, will be joining his parents in their business in the near future. In the meantime, Dave and Lori are looking forward to the new year and the newest chapter in their life. “We chose Pillar To Post Home Inspectors because we felt the support and technical advances were superior to other options we considered,” said Lori. “And we were ready to start our own business to secure our financial independence.”

 

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 9 years in a row and appeared in the ranking for 24 years. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopostfranchise.com.

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