Disruption / Interruption

Disrupting Veteran Employment Ecosystem - Wes Wood - Episode # 017

December 16, 2021

Wes Wood, Executive Director at INvets, left the military in 2015, and upon leaving he realized there was a serious issue that needed to be fixed. He started his own nonprofit partnership in the state of Indiana, where he works to help struggling veterans find work. He joins fellow disruptor and host Karla Jo Helms, to discuss the struggles veterans face trying to transition from the military to civilian life and work. 

Takeaways:

 

  • Most people have a perception that there are plenty of valuable opportunities out there, but for veterans it can be a struggle.
  • There are many issues for people who are coming from the military to civilian life and trying to find a job right away. It can be an adjustment process.
  • Some of the issues veterans face are where do they move to after the military, do they go back home, do they search on job boards for local jobs, etc?
  • Every year, between 200,000 and 300,000 veterans make the switch from military life to civilian life and get a civilian job.
  • Most of the people leaving the military don’t have much experience in the civilian sector and are often unsure of where to go from there.
  • The transition assistance program is a congressionally mandated program that everyone has to go through when they leave the military. It teaches you basic skills like how to write a resume.
  • In the midwest, the economic growth has outpaced the population growth, so a good solution to finding employees is hiring former veterans.

Quote of the show:

 

23:56 “One of the key things that's plagued the veteran ecosystem for years is collaboration. So there are a lot of nonprofits, the nonprofit world is very competitive. Everyone's going after a certain amount of dollars that are given out by veteran focused foundations, endowments, entities.

 

A lot of times what you see is organizations trying to elbow each other out, not collaborating. I want to count that as my win…”

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