TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — People may spend 20 years or more in the military, leave the service and still have the energy and drive to start a new civilian career. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey wants to make it easier for vets to find civilian jobs in Arizona state government.
It takes training and skill to survive on a battlefield but people learn a wide range of skills in the service that civilian employers value.
Mike Ramsey is an Air Force veteran. Now he works for the VA helping other vets transition to civilian jobs.
He remembers an infantryman—a foot soldier— who did not think his experience would mean much to a civilian employer.
So Ramsey asked a few questions.
“Were you ever given order to grab a couple of folks, a couple of soldiers and maybe rearrange the supply room?” ‘Well, yeah.’ “Well, then you’ve done project management.”.
Ramsey says employers love the commitment to accomplishing a mission veterans bring to the civilian workforce.
He says the state employs about 3200 veterans now—about 8.5 of the state government workforce
In three years—by 2025— he wants veterans to comprise about 15 percent.
The University of Arizona has a program to help veterans prepare for new civilian careers. Program Director Bruce Grissom is a Navy veteran.
He says some vets want to work in a field related to what they did in the service. Maybe an military electrician wants a degree in electrical engineering. But others may want to train in something very different from their work in uniform.
But he says something like work in state government may appeal to the sense of service that called them to life in the military.
“Even as they transition out of the service they still want to give back to the community often. And so knowing that the Governor of a state has made that a priority to hire veterans and value that service that they’ve given is very exciting to them and gives them things to think about in how they can continue to serve our communities.”
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