“There is a lot of unskilled labor out there, and there are college graduates. But in the middle, there is the technical group—those who really get things done. That is where we’re hurting right now in America. It’s a niche that our veterans can easily help fill with a little bit of training.”
These are the words of Ron Demonet, Founder of Veteran Scholarships Forever (VSF), during an interview on episode 92 of Deb Sofield’s weekly radio show “Encouragement for Your Life.”
In his interview with Deb, Ron explains that in the military, all your needs are taken care of—housing, food, and training. But when veterans reenter civilian life, they have to do it all on their own. Based on a recent survey, the number one challenge for most veterans is finding a job. Many struggle to translate their military experience into a skill set for the private sector.
“In the military they teach you to be a team, so it’s thinking about ‘we’ as opposed to ‘I.’ They have to shift gears when they come out of the service; they have to present themselves and what they can bring to the table for an employer, and they have a hard time doing that,” Ron explains.
As a result, the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans is about 2 percent higher than the national average, while among younger veterans (24 years and younger) it is about 10 percent higher than their non-veteran counterparts. As Ron explained, another reason for this may be because many veterans went into the military right out of high school, they never gained experience interviewing for a job or writing a resume. While veterans have great soft skills—they are dependable, work well as a team, and have good work ethic—they are often just missing certain skill sets that employers are looking for.
That is why VSF is working to establish scholarships at accredited community and technical colleges that will be awarded to US veterans (and their spouses) for vocational or technical training, thereby increasing their potential for immediate employment. While the GI Bill is geared more toward traditional two to four-year degree programs—and to veterans who served during a certain period of time— it doesn’t cover vocational and skills trade training courses that end up in a certification instead of a degree.
Ron explains, “These types of courses